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Canadian Health Care System???

Posted by mare_wbpa (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 3, 07 at 18:34

I received the following via email today and was wondering if the Canadian posters would be so kind as to offer their comments, pro or con.

"This was sent from Canada to a friend in the States.

I saw on the news up here in Canada where Hillary Clinton introduced her new health care plan. Something similar to what we have in Canada. I also heard that Michael Moore was raving about the health care up here in Canada in his latest movie. As your friend and someone who lives with the Canada health care plan I thought I would give you some facts about this great medical plan that we have in Canada.
First of all:
1) The health care plan in Canada is not free. We pay a premium every month of $96. for Shirley and I to be covered. Sounds great eh. What they don't tell you is how much we pay in taxes to keep the health care system afloat. I am personally in the 55% tax bracket. Yes 55% of my earnings go to taxes. A large portion of that and I am not sure of the exact amount goes directly to health care our #1 expense.
2) I would not classify what we have as health care plan, it is more like a health diagnosis system. You can get into to see a doctor quick enough so he can tell you "yes indeed you are sick or you need an operation" but now the challenge becomes getting treated or operated on. We have waiting lists out the ying yang some as much as 2 years down the road.
3) Rather than fix what is wrong with you the usual tactic in Canada is to prescribe drugs. Have a pain here is a drug to take- not what is causing the pain and why. No time for checking you out because it is more important to move as many patients thru as possible each hour for Government re-imbursement
4) Many Canadians do not have a family Doctor.
5) Don't require emergency treatment as you may wait for hours in the emergency room waiting for treatment.
6) Shirley's dad cut his hand on a power saw a few weeks back and it required that his hand be put in a splint - to our surprise we had to pay $125. for a splint because it is not covered under health care plus we have to pay $60. for each visit for him to check it out each week.
7) Shirley's cousin was diagnosed with a heart blockage. Put on a waiting list . Died before he could get treatment.
8) Government allots so many operations per year. When that is done no more operations, unless you go to your local newspaper and plead your case and embarrass the government then money suddenly appears.
9)The Government takes great pride in telling us how much more they are increasing the funding for health care but waiting lists never get shorter. Government just keeps throwing money at the problem but it never goes away. But they are good at finding new ways to tax us, but they don't call it a tax anymore it is now a user fee.
10) A friend needs an operation for a blockage in her leg but because she is a smoker they will not do it. Despite paying into the health care system all these years. My friend is 65 years old. Now there is talk that maybe we should not treat fat and obese people either because they are a drain on the health care system. Let me see now, what we want in Canada is a health care system for healthy people only. That should reduce our health care costs.
11) Forget getting a second opinion, what you see is what you get.
12) I can spend what money I have left after taxes on booze, cigarettes, junk food and anything else that could kill me but I am not allowed by law to spend my money on getting an operation I need because that would be jumping the queue. I must wait my turn except if I am a hockey player or athlete then I can get looked at right away. Go figger. Where else in the world can you spend money to kill yourself but not allowed to spend money to get healthy.
13) Oh did I mention that immigrants are covered automatically at tax payer expense having never contributed a dollar to the system and pay no premiums.
14) Oh yeh we now give free needles to drug users to try and keep them healthy. Wouldn't want a sickly druggie breaking into your house and stealing your things. But people with diabetes who pay into the health care system have to pay for their needles because it is not covered but the health care system.
I send this out not looking for sympathy but as the election looms in the states you will be hearing more and more about universal health care down there and the advocates will be pointing to Canada. I just want to make sure that you hear the truth about health care up here and have some food for thought and informed questions to ask when broached with this subject.
Step wisely and don't make the same mistakes we have."


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Snopes is checking this out as a possible urban myth - stay tuned....

Here is a link that might be useful: Canadian Health Care


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

While this may be an "urban myth", it definitely has some basis in fact and it's very similar to health care in England.
I have some knowledge because, although I live and work in the US, I work for a Canadian company and I chat with my Toronto friends about our various benefits. I also have an aunt and 2 cousins in England.
1 - yes, taxes are higher than in the US to cover the system.
2 - true
4 - true
5 - true
7 - true. A family friend in Scotland was told he had to wait 2 years for a hip replacement...in excrutiating pain. Turned out to only be 12 months...in excrutiating pain. If this friend had a bigger bank balance, he would have paid for relief.
12 - In England you can jump the queue. Then you get to pay BOTH your taxes for national health AND you get to pay the private doctors.

In my opinion, we have another fine example of "be careful what you wish for....you just might get it".

I have no interest in going to national health.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

1)Correct. Fees & taxes differ by province and so long as I am working my health insurance premiums are paid by my employer. There has been at least one instance of a visiting US resident who was not billed for emergency hospital treatment because the hospitals billing department didnt know the procedure to bill that person.
2)If diagnosis and/or treatment are quick and inexpensive then Canadas health system works well. If you require an expensive diagnosis and/or treatment then you had better be prepared to wait.
3)Doctors offices tend to push through as many people as possible because they get paid on volume. Getting relevant information from the doctor can be a challenge.
4)Correct.
5)Correct.
6)What is and isnt covered seems arbitrary. Fees seem to be multiplying.
7)All too common.
8)Could quibble on the details but substantially correct.
9)Health care is a political football in Canada. Funding is a bit of a shell game in which most people are unable to keep track of the details.
10)No comment.
11)Correct.
12)In practice those with the money go to the US for timely medical care. The US medical system acts as a useful pressure relief valve for the Canadian medical system.
13)Refugee policy is really a separate issue from medical policy.
14)Injection drug users in some areas are getting free needles in an effort to limit the sharing of nasty diseases among themselves and others. This one actually makes some sense.

I have to second the sentiments of "Be careful what you wish for....you just might get it"


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Not sure a Government healthcare system is what we need, however the USA system is broken! Present elected officials plan on putting all healthcare costs onto the individual in order to help businesses. That is fine except that most will not be able to pay for healthcare in our "for profit" system. That simply means more uninsured people that the insured people will pay for. My DH covers our family though his job and it has gone up 10% a year for us with worse coverage each time. I know costs for the company have skyrocketed also, but what is the answer? I feel that my parent's generation (they are 81) will be the only ones to live that long. DH & I figure we will croak early, as we will not be able to afford the costs to stay alive. Don't have much hope for my kid's either. I am not looking at either side to rescue anyone until it gets much worse. The political system is also broken, spending billions to tell us who we will vote for and none on either side are worth a hoot. No one wants to find an answer for healthcare, they just want to talk about it. Third world status for the USA may not come in my lifetime, but probably in my kids' lifetime. Just the ebb and flow of power I guess.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

"That simply means more uninsured people that the insured people will pay for."

How does that work???

In fact insured people pay less for their procedures as the insurance company has negotiated prices. Uninsured pay what ever they health care institution wished to charge them.

The health care problem does not start nor end with the insurance issue, the problem goes much deeper. Unless we start fixing the problem from the root cause, it will get uglier/worse and not better.

Have you seen a hospital bill lately? These bills are not cost based at all. Can you imagine that ER doctor's 5 minutes are charged at an hourly rate of $ 8,500.00. Medicine that you can get without prescription plan from pharmacy for $ 12.00, in hospital will cost you $ 89.00. These are facts and shows you that something is very wrong and it does not start with question of insurance...


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Have you seen a hospital bill lately? These bills are not cost based at all. Can you imagine that ER doctor's 5 minutes are charged at an hourly rate of $ 8,500.00. Medicine that you can get without prescription plan from pharmacy for $ 12.00, in hospital will cost you $ 89.00. These are facts and shows you that something is very wrong and it does not start with question of insurance...

Actually it does. The hospital has to accept and treat patients who have no insurance nor the means to pay for their care. The only way they can do that, and keep operating is to overcharge patients who do have insurance and/or the means to pay.

We (insured) already do pay for those who don't have ins. Just not efficently.

As a nation, we pay more per capita for health care than any other country in the world. We aren't getting what we pay.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

The reason so many uninsured cannot pay for their medical bills is exactly the over inflated prices - that also makes the insurance so expensive and out of reach for so many.

I see only vicious cycle here and no viable solutions that I have heard. and Know national health care like in Canada is not option for me.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Ah-hah! So the war has begun. The powers that be in the USA (pharmacuticals, AMA, and most of all the INSURANCE COMPANIES), have started their campaign against health care reform.

Remember "Harry and Louise"? That was their anti-Hillary campaign last go-round.

I don't even think it's a very good campaign. Virtually all of the letter's points of complaint are true here, too!

Not mentioned was the vast cost of our system and its short-comings.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

1) There are many ways to levy taxes other than income tax.
2) There are plenty of waiting lists here too. Even to go to a specialist for the diagnosis.
3) Rather than fix what is wrong with you the usual tactic in the US is to prescribe drugs. DH works for a pharmacy. You wouldn't believe what people are on. I don't know how they manage to walk around. No time for checking you out because it is more important to move as many patients thru as possible each hour for insurance reimbursement
4) Many Americans do not have a family Doctor. Especially poor and lower middle class.
5) Don't require emergency treatment as you may wait for hours in the emergency room waiting for treatment. Especially in areas where there are poor people, as that's their family doctor.
6) Lots of medical devices are not covered under health care plans. Lots of drugs, too. Mine just quit paying for prenatal vitamins.
7) Diagnosed with a ____. Died before he could get treatment. Yup. How about this--company is being sold. Guy has a heart attack in the office. Doctor won't treat him because the insurance changeover paperwork hasn't been done. Happened in my office. Or, how about the Enron employees whose insuramce was suddenly yanked out from under them. I remember there was a guy scheduled for cancer surgery. It was cancelled. Wonder what happened to him. Esp. since once you've had a gap (of any size) in coverage, the next company can exclude 'preexisting conditions'.
8) Government allots so many operations per year. Every so often there's a scandal wherein some insurance comany is doing just that.
9)Government just keeps throwing money at the problem but it never goes away. But they are good at finding new ways to tax us, but they don't call it a tax anymore it is now a fee. Sounds oh so familiar. In so many areas. At least you still have decent education.
10) Now there is talk that maybe we should not treat fat and obese people either because they are a drain on the health care system. Here, they just ban trans fats from restaurants.
11) Forget getting a second opinion, what you see is what you get. If you're poor, this is true here too.
12) I am not allowed by law to spend my money on getting an operation I need because that would be jumping the queue. That doesn't make sense. Of course, if you have money you can go to NYC. except if I am a hockey player or athlete then I can get looked at right away. My DH has a knee problem that he was told nothing can be done about. Roger Clemens had the same thing and it was fixed the next day.

14) People with diabetes system have to pay for their needles because it is not covered but the health care system.
See above re medical devices. Also--insurance will often pay for viagra but not birth control pills.

The Canadian system may be screwed up, but the American "system" is a clusterf*ck. Also see why so many Americans are going to Mexico for healthcare. Mexico.

One day, all the Mexicans will be here and all the Americans there.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

While this may be an "urban myth", it definitely has some basis in fact and it's very similar to health care in England.
I have some knowledge because, although I live and work in the US, I work for a Canadian company and I chat with my Toronto friends about our various benefits. I also have an aunt and 2 cousins in England.
1 - yes, taxes are higher than in the US to cover the system.
2 - true
4 - true
5 - true
7 - true. A family friend in Scotland was told he had to wait 2 years for a hip replacement...in excrutiating pain. Turned out to only be 12 months...in excrutiating pain. If this friend had a bigger bank balance, he would have paid for relief.
12 - In England you can jump the queue. Then you get to pay BOTH your taxes for national health AND you get to pay the private doctors.
In my opinion, we have another fine example of "be careful what you wish for....you just might get it".

I have no interest in going to national health.

You work for a Canadian company in the US, have US healthcare, have never experienced the Canadian system and going only be heresay and what you know of England??? Do I have that right?

I'm sorry, you're way off base. I'm Canadian and now live in the US. I would take the canadian system ANYDAY.

The knowledge you have is not from actual experience. I find it really funny when people form an opinion, post it as fact when they have never experienced the system.

Each province varies in their healthcare coverage and prices. I'm from Alberta and I never paid any health premiums EVER because when I first graduated uni and didn't make enough, they were subsidized and then when I got a FT job, the employer paid the premiums of $30 per month. DH and I pay $270/month here for federal employee insurance and I"m told that's cheap. Currently, Alberta premiums are $44 single, $88 family. The only people who pay those premiums are those who are not employed or are self employed. If you can't afford the premiums, you don't pay. Period.

I have never waited for anything. I had major surgery. I picked the date. My mom had hip replacement surgery. She picked the date. I got in to see my Family Doctor when I needed to.

It just burns my bum when all these people who know nothing about the system post as if they are experts. I hear the Canadian system criticized all the time and I would choose it over the US every single time. Period.

Funny, I have waited months to see a doctor here. I had a skin disorder and had I been able to get into the dermatologist, Iwouldn't have had to pay for light therapy for 6 months to get rid of it. I had other medical issues and I couldn't get into the doctor at all. I have waited MONTHS to see doctors for the first time here. I never waited so long in Canada.

You are also wrong about taxes being higher in Canada to cover the system. Salaries in CAnada are higher and by this website below, taxes in some brackets are actually LOWER in Canada than the US and that includes what we pay for healthcare.

http://strickland.ca/taxes.html

http://southernstudies.org/facingsouth/2007/07/sicko-shows-better-way-that-need-not.asp

Right now the US is funding billions for a war. I have no doubt that is costing a helluvalot more than Canadian healthcare.

My husband waited 10 hours in the ER for a broken rib here in the US. I have never waited that long in an ER in Canada. Please don't tell me that there are not long waits in US ER's. I have gone to the URgent care and been told it's an 8 hour wait. And guess what - you're PAYING for that privilege of waiting.

Please don't knock a system you don't know anything about and that you have not experienced.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

I stand by what I say and believe.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

And *I* stand by my statement that this is a first salvo from US insurance, et. al lobbies against changes to their present lucrative system.

It's long-winded, involved, gets people involved in a molasses of dubious points. Look at the whole of it and know it for the propoganda it is.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

This has really touched a nerve. Instead of comparing the Canadian and US systems look around the world at systems where there is a high degree of satisfaction.
Some Canadians have been looking at France and Sweden as countries which seem to have health care systems which work to the satisfaction of people living there.
In my humble opinion the system Canada has adopted is flawed in concept. The countries which seem to have well run health care systems have a good amount of competition in the delivery of services. The Canadian system has the flaws found in monopolies.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Good point, Ian
I've previously posted about the Japanese system. My mother was a long term resident in Japan (she's American). She was covered under the Japanese health care system. When she began exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer's, I got a first hand look at their system and was very impressed at both the quality of care she received as well as the speed at which it was delivered.

As far a waiting times in the ER, I went through that several times with my late MIL. (She had Medicare and a very good Medigap policy). The worst time we waited all night in the ER while she was in excruciating pain. They said they couldn't give her anything for the pain while they waited for a back specialist because it would affect the diagnosis. She finally had emergency surgery. It was an awful experience. The was at a major hospital in downtown Seattle.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Health care, of whatever kind, is something of a bottomless pit, in our advamced societies.

My old uncle died three years ago, after enduring pain in back, hip and leg, following three hip replacements. But 50 years ago, there were no hip or knee replacements.

Or many other medical procedures that are rather routine now, with many patients having benefitted from them.

How many of our friends have had multiple bypass heart surgery?

That's a complicated procedure, and very expensive.

Only in recent years have we had heart replacement, along with that service for several other organs.

I've heard that something like up to 25 people are in an operating room while such a procedure is going on ... with high costs for salaries, alone.

Every year the medical people are finding more possible diagnoses and treatment procedures, and, as most of them are of increasing complexity, there are very high (and increasing) costs involved for each.

Granted, with much of the minimally invasive procedures that they are achieving with robotics, etc., many patients are spending much less time in hospital, so some savings are achieved in that situation.

My children's mother died three years ago, after treatment for colon cancer during about 9 months, including surgery, radiation, etc. and ending with being cared for in the palliative care unit of our local major hospital.

They were entirely satisfied with the care that she had received.

She had been head of food service in a major hospital for a number of years, until about 10 years previously ... whether that fact had any effect on the situation, I don't know, but I'm inclined to doubt it.

My brother needed care for prostate cancer about 7 years ago and now is having good health - I haven't heard him make any disparaging comments about his care, which included radiation.

My daughter has lived and worked in both countries ... I haven't heard her make much in the way of her opinions about comparisons.

I visited my doctor for my "annual" check-up last week (last visit 2.75 years ago) and he asked what I'm doing to keep blood pressure where it should be. No diabetic indications. Otherwise all seems fine. He took about 6 vials of blood, one of which goes for PSA test, which used to cost me $20., last one was $40. (more complicated test). Says I may need to see urologist, depending on results of PSA test (my family has history of prostate problems).

Granted, many are not able to find a family doctor ... we cut back on training, a number of years ago ... and many of our grads decamp for the U.S., where citizens there benefit from the expensive training that those providers received (pay is better, down there).

However - we can't bi!ch seriously, for we are guilty of raiding other countries for medically trained people, where they are less able to pay for that training than we are. And they have drastic need of the care that such trained people can provide.

I guess it's part of the same old story - those who are rich live higher on the hog.

But ... doesn't an economic system where, within half of a generation, one man can become the richest man in the world, need some major reform?

I hear a good deal about democracy ... by which we usually mean, "political democracy".

But isn't there a need also for some economic democracy?

I hope that you're having a satisfying week.

ole joyful


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Smiling about the six vials of blood. My late mother had a blood disease -- lots of blood tests and frequent ones. The clinician always had at least one beautiful rose in a vase on her desk. Mom finally put it all together. The clinicial said, yes, she did take the left-over blood home to feed her rose garden!

Hope all your test come out well. Maybe you would get a new calendar? One with only 12 months per year instead of thirty?


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

I'm a little late to this thread, but here is my two cents:

In the US we all get treated, eventually, w/wo insurance, but we do not all pay the same price for the same care, precisely because insurance cos negotiate with their buying power. Hospitals are forced to overcharge everyone to cover the mandated care they give the uninsured, and the enormous amount of paperwork generated by insurance companies accounts for 33% of health care costs!

In my own case: In early 2005 DH and I were each diagnosed with cancer within seven weeks of each other. DH's bills began arriving while I was in hospital, so went unpaid until I recovered. By then rounds two and three of DH's bills were arriving, and lo and behold, his subsequent bills were lower than previous bills. It was impossible to determine how much was owed to whom, as providers often sent bills with names different from the practice name the insurance company paid. We were getting calls to pay or else.

The same thing happened when my bills began arriving. To top it all off, at the end of the year we received more than $1000.00 in refunds for overpayments we made. Had we paid the original bills in the first place, I can't imagine what we would have been refunded.

DH retired. His former employer pays most of his retiree premium and he is on Medicare, but I am only 59 and must pay my entire premium (which I buy through his former employer) of $10,100.00 per year with an out-of-pocket deductible of $2500.00 that must be met annually. If I live till I am 67 and eligible for medicare, we will have spent about $112,000 on my premiums and out-of-pocket costs at today's prices.

Surely there must be a way to reduce the 33% cost of medical paperwork and to even out the cost of care for everyone. Insurance executives are wealthy and well-rewarded for shifting costs to others. Those billions being wasted in Bush's shameful war would also go a long way towards fixing the problem.

Sherry


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Sherry (unbottled),

Your insurance companies do quite a lot of advertising, too, don't they?

Then ... there's all of those political contributions.

Serious medical problems frequently bring a double whammy ... there's the pain and trouble, in addition to the expenses, associated with the illness.

In addition, in a number of cases, the employment income stops. But what does the family do for income?

In Canada, the major cause of bankruptcy isn't a medical catastrophe.

I prefer not to be quizzed at the entry to the hosp. regarding my financial health.

For years we had a medical insurance premium in this province, though not in several others, then it was stopped in this province, and, following a recent election, when one of the parties promised no increase in taxes but ran into a larger deficit than expected, re-instituted the health premium, which they claimed was not a "tax increase". The "health levy" costs me about $600. per year - but it isn't a tax, don'cha know!

It might be lower were my taxable income calculated directly, but in the case of one type of income, when I earned $1.00 until last year, I had to declare as though I'd earned $1.25 (then got a certain percentage of that figure knocked off of the total tax that I owed ... but last year they changed it to $1.45 to declare, with a larger deduction from tax owing.

But this artificial increase in my declared income affects the rate of some of my deductions and credits, e.g. re. age, negatively.

You win some - you lose some, I guess.

Good wishes for finding excellent health, and the needed care when you run into problems ...

... without it costing an arm and a leg (if I may say so).

ole joyful


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

You are so right, ole joyful, about the political contributions and advertising. Just think of the waste! Also, drug companies advertise directly to the public, suggesting all the diseases we may have and should be wary of, so get thee to the doctor for a prescription!

In my case, we gave the hospital my insurance card before I entered the hospital. While I was in a coma and doctors told my family I might not make it, my lab work was sent to a pathology group that is not in my particular plan. The insurance company refused to pay the pathologists, and we were left with the enormous bill.

Since pathology is an integral part of diagnosis and treatment, treatment cannot proceed with their reports. We were unaware that my labs were being sent to an out-of-group path lab until the bills came in, and besides, what were the options at the time? Let me die because the group paths weren't on duty that day? Who even thought to ask the question? Also, it turns out that individual doctors and nurses can opt out of a particular plan, and if they are on duty when you are in hospital, you pay them yourself.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Sorry, I was proofreading and pressed the wrong button before I corrected something:

"Since pathology is an integral part of diagnosis and treatment, treatment cannot proceed with their reports." should read "Treatment cannot proceed WITHOUT their reports.

I don't know how to fix the system, but I know it needs it. The irony here is that my DH spent his career writing about US health care and insurance, and our SIL is a pathologist! No matter how much you know, you never know enough!

And, yes, you may say so, ole joyful! Thanks for the good wishes.

Sherry

PS - We are both healthy at the moment.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Find me any section of the economy where the government is responsible for nearly 50% of the money spent and costs are low. Doesn't exist. Adding more flow to the river of government money we pour into healthcare will not make it cheaper.

The real problem with costs is no one is willing to pay for their healthcare. Everyone just argues the price is so high, so someone else must pay.

Take this for what it's worth: My boss is from Canada. His parents and his in-laws all travel over 2 hours to the states to get medical care.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

I disagree that nobody wants to pay for health care, bentruler. Your boss is a good example - he pays twice for his. Considering the costs of time and travel, he pays quite a lot more. Surely he could find one competent doctor in his who could treat him in a timely manner.

Or consider this: perhaps we insured Americans run to the doctor for self-limiting ailments that don't require a doctor's attention, such as colds, simply because insurance pays for it.

The point is that health care does get paid for by all of us, and it should be a more equitable system. The system is sliced into so many smaller systems that "the system" itself is the culprit and wastes vast amounts of money.

Take away the advertising agencies that must make a profit and pay their staffs; every aspect of health care has its own for-profit billing company; every state in the union, and many counties and cities within the states, operates its own system to pay for low-income people, and still many fall through the cracks. Take away the tons of paper and postage used by the insurance companies to convince us that they have just saved us. How can a family predict which level of insurance to buy for NEXT YEAR? Accidents happen, diseases strike without warning.

I understand that this is a capitalist country and competition keeps prices down and all that, but it doesn't work for health care because technology renders state-of-the-art equipment obsolete instantly, and if a hospital is to remain competitive it must continue buying new equipment constantly, continuing the spiraling costs.

However, if the US govt tried to outsource the administration of a health care plan to another country or to a no-bid private contractor, I give up. That's not capitalism, that's immoral and unethical.


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Corrections to previous post

I'm Sorry, I did it again! I meant to preview the previous message. Here are the corrections:

I disagree that nobody wants to pay for health care, bentruler. Your boss is a good example - he pays twice for his. Considering the costs of time and travel, he pays quite a lot more. Surely he could find one competent doctor in his AREA who could treat him in a timely manner.

Or consider this: perhaps we insured Americans run to the doctor for self-limiting ailments such as colds that don't require a doctor's attention, simply because "insurance pays for it."

I sure hope I can learn not to press "submit" instead of "preview!"

Sherry


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Follow the money. Who in the health care field is making the most money under the present system? INSURANCE COMPANIES!

Whose CEO's are 'earning' millions per year? INSURANCE COMPANIES!

Who determines cost of care? INSURANCE COMPANIES! (They set the reimbursement rates for doctors, hospitals, labs, etc.)

bentruler -- Take a look at how VA hospitals have made a turn-around to provide excelent care at lower costs. Great example of a good government-run program. Also, I don't hear people complaining about Medicare-funded health care.

You can expect the insurance industry to fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo. Follow the money.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

I disagree that nobody wants to pay for health care, bentruler. Your boss is a good example - he pays twice for his. Considering the costs of time and travel, he pays quite a lot more. Surely he could find one competent doctor in his AREA who could treat him in a timely manner.

Read the post. He doesn't pay for his healthcare. Why? He works in the states. His parents are the ones that travel. Why? They don't want to wait a month to see a doctor.

I understand that this is a capitalist country and competition keeps prices down and all that, but it doesn't work for health care because technology renders state-of-the-art equipment obsolete instantly, and if a hospital is to remain competitive it must continue buying new equipment constantly, continuing the spiraling costs.

No, the problem is no one pays. Government's screwed our system up so much that people think more of the same is the only solution.

Want to drive costs down, here's a simple 2 part list:
1) End the employer tax break. Make it an above the line deduction for everyone.
2) Allow people to buy health insurance from any state they choose, not the one they live in.

Guess what those do. They have people actually shop for insurance. Everyone screams follow the money, the insurance companies are evil, but I have yet to have someone admit they actually ever tried to find cheaper policies.

And 1/2 the money's the government. You want to follow the river to the source? You'll end up in Washington, DC.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Interesting article on national health in England that was printed 2 days ago on yahoo news...

LONDON (AFP) - Falling numbers of state dentists in England has led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released Monday.

Others have used superglue to stick crowns back on, rather than stumping up for private treatment, said the study. One person spoke of carrying out 14 separate extractions on himself with pliers.

More typically, a lack of publicly-funded dentists means that growing numbers go private: 78 percent of private patients said they were there because they could not find a National Health Service (NHS) dentist, and only 15 percent because of better treatment.

"This is an uncomfortable read for all of us, and poses serious questions to politicians from patients," said Sharon Grant of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health.

Overall, six percent of patients had resorted to self-treatment, according to the survey of 5,000 patients in England, which found that one in five had decided against dental work because of the cost.

One researcher involved in compiling the study -- carried out by members of England's Patient and Public Involvement Forums -- came across three people in one morning who had pulled out teeth themselves.

Dentists are also concerned about the trend.

Fifty-eight percent said new dentists' contracts introduced last year had made the quality of care worse, while 84 percent thought they had failed to make it easier for patients to find care.

Almost half of all dentists -- 45 percent -- said they no longer take NHS patients, while 41 percent said they had an "excessive" workload. Twenty-nine percent said their clinic had problems recruiting or retaining dentists.

"These findings indicate that the NHS dental system is letting many patients down very badly," said Grant.

"It appears many are being forced to go private because they don't want to lose their current trusted and respected dentist or because they just can't find a local NHS dentist."


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

I have a major problem with "universal health care" for a number of reasons... first and foremost being I don't think it will significantly change anything for anybody. You will still have folks who do not get the appropiate care, those that do not have any problem with getting care, and those who can afford to go to a different country to get the care that is unavailable in their own. Some will swear by it, and some will detest it, some will abuse it, and a few will actually use it as intended. Same as the current welfare system. It will make criminals of folks who choose not to use that system, who choose to go to a different country for care that is no longer available here.

Let's see.... health care....
We already have welfare, medicare, medicaid (not sure which is for what), indigent care, WIC, etc.... My state has medical and dental programs for children and those that are not insured. This is already medical welfare for those who can not afford it on their own. There are already government run programs in place. I would say to look to these for examples of "government run medical programs". If THEY are not doing a good job, then let's looking at fixing them, before taking this to a national level.

It seems to me that the universal healthcare thing is kind of like the public schools thing. It's broken. Let's not find out what's wrong. Let's not fire the bad doctors/hospitals/teachers/schools... surely if we throw still more money at it that will fix it. Except we never throw the money at the right things.... let's throw some of that public school money at teacher's salaries, so that it's a competitive field, instead of just turning our schools into prison camps. Let's start pushing the "work for college" doctor's programs. Maybe include nursing in that plan.

I can not encourage or support any action against our democratic form of government. Why would they have to mandate that everyone use their system? Why would they attempt to make it criminal to not use it? Sounds more like socialist ideals than democratic ones to me.

Exactly why are we encouraging a majority of citizens to depend on the federal government as their ONLY source of healthcare? Seems wrong to me. Scary and wrong.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Yes, the system as it is is broken, and the solution is not fractionalized repair. Adding more programs and more state's versions of programs is not the answer.

One comprehensive program may be the answer. UNIVERSAL and not outsourced to be cheap. It will never happen for political reasons.

For all the programs you mentioned, momto6, my family has never been able to participate in any of them. My DH's company's health insurance plan does not include dental or visual. With six kids, we paid for eight pairs of eyeglasses every year, dental care every year, and orthodontia and oral surgery for two of them. Thousands of dollars, every year, and we are insured! Not once in all those years did we reach the threshhold required to deduct those costs from our income tax. I have no idea if univeral HC systems in other countries cover those things, but it looks like the Brits are having some trouble. I'll bet they fix the problem, though.

As for shopping for insurance, there are too many factors to consider. One cannot predict what ailment one will suffer in future, you can only hope you have selected a plan that will cover most of your needs. There is no way to comparison shop to find out the cost of treatment for a specific ailment because prices vary within the same institution to cover the costs incurred by the uninsured. If the "best doctor" for your specific ailment is not associated with the hospital that is in your plan, you pay the best doctor yourself or use whoever is in your plan.

Like all kind of insurance, the kind of health insurance plans now offered to Americans depend on everyone staying healthy to keep premiums down. Once you become sick with any disease, you become uninsurable. Period. Your current insurance company must keep you on their rolls, but only as long as you pay your premium on time. Don't be late by day or forget to date the check - it's the excuse they're looking for and you're out. There is no leniency.

Personally, I hope we do get a good system, and soon. Yes, people will always be dissatisfied and will shop around, just like education; if they can pay their own privately, fine...let them. For all that's wrong with the public school systems, there is a lot right about them, too.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Mom - you don't understand... Canadian healthcare is not a system you 'choose' to use. It's in place absolutely for everyone all the time, no questions, no qualifying, nothing. I've been on it all my life (decades!) and all I ever have to do for 'service' is flash my card - and everyone gets one, no exceptions.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

I have never had medical insurance go up due to health problems. I even asked BC & BS if it could go up, they said "No, we are not allowed to do that". My husband had cancer/treatment, by-pass surgery, other heart problems and then Alzheimer's and no increase due to health. We haven't paid a dime for medical in 30 years except for $25 when we go to the ER and we don't pay that now. Our insurance was free with Boeing, after retirement it is Medicare with BC&BS as a supplement. The supplement for myself is $115. a month. Oh we do pay dental and vision. I read a report about dental and it said people that keep the maintenance up on their teeth don't need dental insurance. It's only the ones that neglected their teeth that have huge bills. I lost a filling and went to a new dentisi. She wanted $1,000. to crown a tooth and $500 to fix a couple of other teeth. I went to a friend's dentist and he did it all for $242. The expensive dentist's aide called to remind me of my appointment and I told her it was done and for $242. Silence...........


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

You're right, Jonesy, they can't raise an individual's premium, but they can and do raise the premium everyone in the group pays. Just don't be late with your $115 premium or you may find yourself without insurance.

I'm glad you haven't had to pay for medical care, but that just goes to point out the inequity of the current system. And, don't forget, that retiree benefits are not sacred and can be yanked or renegotiated with every new contract. I hope that doesn't happen to you. Health insurance is becoming a sore spot in many management/workforce negotiations - look at the UAW, for instance. Two years before my husband retired, his company yanked health insurance for spouses of retirees, thus our enormous premiums for me. If he dies before I do, I will not be able to buy my insurance through his company anymore.

As for dental care: I'm sure that for many people maintenance pays off. However, some people are born with teeth that need constant repair. My husband and two of our kids have never had a single cavity in their lives, two of the kids had routine cavities in their baby teeth but have had none in their adult teeth, but two of the kids (we have six) required pediadontics because they were born without enamel on their baby teeth. And two of the kids had "unerupted adult canine teeth" which required oral surgery and orthodontia. You were very lucky to find a dentist who could do your work for so little.

We were fortunate in that our kids were a healthy lot, requiring mainly dental care, eyeglasses and routine medical care. Some families are not so fortunate. People shouldn't have to declare bankruptcy to get health care or do without.

I think Canadians and all the other industrialized countries of the world are much smarter than we are in this regard. I wonder why, with the huge amounts of money we spend on a broken system, we can't find an equitable way to redirect that money to the actual care of people.

Sherry


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

It seems to me that health insurance is a contract you enter into every year. The company has the option to not offer you a contract, just as your auto insurer has the option to drop you once your present contract expires.

That right?


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

I truly hate paying the $425/month premium(I'm think it's about to be raised) I pay now for non group BC/CS coverage. It sure puts a big hole in my SS benefit. However, I have the comfort of knowing that if I need medical care, it's available to me without having to be on a waiting list with the possibility of being in pain for a year or dying before I can have a bypass if needed. I've been thinking for a long time now that we need a Universal Health Care Plan in the US. I think that the system is broken and that health care should be a right and not a priveledge in the richest country in the world. I don't think Canada's system is the ideal that we should be reaching for tho. I'm hoping that whoever we elect in the next Presidential election will come with a plan that will be an improvement on that and something that the country can afford. Til then, I'll pay my hefty premiums, that I am thankfully(barely), able to pay. Just my 2 cents.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

For all that's wrong with the public school system.... it is still the best thing going for a majority of Americans at this point in time. It is also the ONLY thing going. =0) Other than giving a sort of education to many children who would otherwise receive NO formal education, and individual teachers who truly have a calling and would be teaching something to someone even if they weren't working for the school systems, I can't think of much that is "right" with our government schools.

"health insurance plans depend on everyone staying healthy to keep costs down"..... Isn't this how all insurance works? At least in theory. Car insurance and home insurance companies hope that they never have to pay off, and that if they do have to pay off that the insurance you have already paid is more than the cost of your repairs. Life insurance, health insurance, etc... all hope the same. It's like they're betting that you won't get sick, while you are betting that the cost of your illness will be more than you put in. Probably why I have no co-pay for my twice yearly dental exams. Insurance companies know that preventative care is cheaper than fixing a problem.

lucy: Is it ILLEGAL, as in going to jail illegal, for you to NOT use the system in Canada? Can you to go to a doctor who does not participate in the system (and pay for it yourself)? Do you even have doctors not in the system? Can you to go to another country to receive care that is not offered, or not quick enough to be effective in yours (and pay for it yourself)? This is what some proponents of health care want in this country. For it to be illegal to not use the system. If you HAVE to use the system, if you can not CHOOSE to use a different system, it's no different than even the communists, where they know what's best for you and you have to do what they say, or go to jail. This is the scary part for me. I would love to be able to offer medical assistance to everyone who needs it..... as long as it doesn't trample on the rights of the people who don't want to use that system. I'm not against welfare, medicare or WIC. There is a need for those things. But if someone else got to determine that I did not make enough money, and could force me to use these services, I would have a totally different opinion. That is what can not be tolerated.

I really do not understand when folks say that the current government system is broke, BUT.... let's give them more money.... let's make it illegal for anyone not to use that system.... Let's hire the folks who can not manage to run a small state by state system, to run the healthcare for the entire country. Do we think that by making it 700 times bigger that all the problems will magically go away? Do we think that they will become magically competent? Here's an question..... Would you hire anyone for anything when they had proven that they could not do a good job on a smaller task? Would you hire a painter who you hired to paint your living room, and left drips, covered mistakes up (and not very well), and would charge you twice the original price to "fix" the problems to paint the exterior of your house? Of course not. That would be stupid. Agreed? So why do you want to do the same with healthcare?


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

There is more than enough money in the system for it to work very well right now. The distribution of the money is where our current system does us disservice.

The biggest wasters of health care money are insurance companies. A full 30% of our health care dollars aren't even spent on providing health care. That should make us all angry.

Another big part of the problem is that we seem to think that we are entitled to unlimited health care. We are all mortal and we are all going to die eventually. We need to take a long, hard look at who gets treated for what and at how much cost.

The other thing we need to deal with as a society is whether we believe that wealthier individuals are entitled to more and/or better health care than those who are not as fortunate.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Mom - Of course it's not illegal, but the vast majority of us use (and like) the system, and I'm very glad it is there. Yes, there are a very few docs who've opted out and charge for services, but why would you want to use them? And yes we can go to the US (or anywhere else) if we want and often Canada (or private insc.) will pay if the need is urgent and the treatment immediately unavailable here, but in fact, the great majority of us get by just fine, even if occasionally (NOT always!) we have to wait a little longer for something that's not urgent (if inconvenient). There is no political agenda here - we're not communists, just people who believe everyone should have the right to health care, and the same level of it, and not be held back by poverty, politicians, or anything else. Why does everyone scream 'Commie' (shades of McCarthyism) when an intelligent and necessary, not to mention humane, system is voted into place by electors? Talk about trampling on rights - if I had no money (for whatever reason, temporary or otherwise) and my child was sick, I sure as heck would feel trampled on if I couldn't just get him treated with no questions asked! You say you're not against welfare or medicare, but from what I've read over time, thousands of you fall between cracks all the time, and that's just a shame. The richest country in the world should not subject it's people to hardship when they need care!


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

When you consider that the US healthcare costs, per capita, are twice as much in cost as virtually every other industrialized nation in the world, yet we receive care that is rated no better and in many cases, worse than the world average....

then it is painfully obvious the current system of private insurance for healthcare does not work.

I believe it is a similar situation in the emerging scenario of for-profit nursing homes companies who are beginning to take over local nursing homes, yet are often delivering substandard care that falls BELOW Medicare recommended guidelines (check out the Sept 27, 2007 NYTimes article "More Profit and Less Nursing at Many Homes" for an eye-opener with stats).

One reason Jonesy has never been canceled is that their insurer is now secondary to Medicare. The insurer knows Medicare is picking up the majority of costs first. Rest assured if the insurer was still primary, they would be looking for every out they could find to reduce their costs. Amongst other things, there is almost always a cap of $1M for lifetime treatment on an individual, regardless of type of illnesses. Sometimes it's even lower - some health insurers have started to institute strict dollar limits on outpatient care (common with cancer or stroke treatments).

One of my friends was laid off and switching to COBRA. The first 30 days the paperwork tends to easily lost as it's in transit from one department to another. She had a medical emergency and had to get a prescription. When she went to the HMO pharmacy she received her 2 week prescription of pills along with a bill for over $800! This was because they couldn't confirm she still had coverage. She got reimbursed some 3 months later, but it was still a nasty shock she'll never forget.

I wonder if most people who think the healthcare system isn't broken, have ever paid for a medical emergency on their own? Not pointing fingers, just wondering. We have union-negotiated healthcare benefits much better than average. In 2001 when I broke my arm, the ambulance/emergency bill was $1800 - and it didn't show up until more than 15 months after the accident! This was for a 5-minute ride to the HMO hospital, BTW. I also noticed that even the follow-up Xrays were classified as part of the emergency services, even though they were taken two months after the accident.

We were lucky that another driver was ruled at fault for the accident, so her insurance company had to pay my emergency bill. As it turns out, even our excellent benefits do not pay for emergency medical care - this is a common exclusion, in fact.

My MIL visits her Canadian relatives for weeks at a time. She recently had a kidney infection while in Calgary and saw a clinic doctor. It cost her $35 to see the doctor, get a urinalysis, plus a few dollars for antibiotics. I would guess it would certainly be three times that here in the US; yet there is no good reason why it should be.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Brewbeer hit it right on the head - people expect unlimited healthcare for free. Healthcare has never been a right, and it definitly ain't cheap! Why would anyone who goes for years without paying into the premium system expect to just get insurance for $500K worth of care the instant they get sick? Would that be a wise business move in any industry? You think the government (aka ME) should pay for you? Why is your health my responsibility? How do I know how well you treated that body? I want a Maybach for 500K, but I don't want to make the payments - will some of you pay more taxes for me? Healthcare is like any other service (albeit more important than most). If electricity can be privatized, I don't see why healthcare shouldn't be...

The technology in healthcare in the US is as good as any in the world. Comparing the US to Norway or Sweeden where there is virtually no poverty and over a 50% tax burden is not reasonable. Do you really want to pay over 50% taxes to cover healthcare? A few hundred tax deductable dollars every month is a better bet in my book to retain my choice. I also wonder how many ambulance chasers Sweeden or Norway has...

My job offers health insurance, and I can choose whether or not to I want to pay for it. Yes it is expensive, but so is a CT machine, an operating room, a brain surgeon, 24 hour nursing, or a mechanical ventilator. Hospitals are not allowed to deny anyone care - and emergencies like traumas are always immediately addressed - but you have to pay for that service. The poor (medicaid) and the elderly (medicare) ARE covered right now - just don't expect the deluxe suite (you'll probably share a room) - thats for the people who paid more. Has anyone ever heard of health clinics? If you don't like that scene then go PAY FOR SOME INSURANCE. You life is probably more important than your big screen...

The real solution is to make health insurance MANDATORY for EVERY individual - just like auto liability insurance (you don't hear people crying to make that a government plan). The burden would then be lowered, and the ability to choose would still be retained. Health initiatives like weight loss and smoking cessation could allow individuals to lower premiums further. If you can't stop puffin' that butt, and shoveling down those super-sized meals, then you deserve to pay more! I once had a health plan that would credit $2000 healthcare dollars up front before a $1000 deductible. We were very frugal whith our health spending choices when we knew how much we could have covered; no ER visits for minor ailments for us.

It can be done. Just don't complain about how much insurance is, 50%+ tax brackets are much more expensive...


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

lucy: It is not the same system that I have heard pushed here in the states then. The systems I've heard involve telling you where you can and can not go, they involve telling you that you will go to jail if you do not use their system. That is communism. Your system is not communist as you have a choice, even if you choose not to use it. And there are a million reasons from personality differences to differing opinions of quality of care and treatment for folks to use these individual doctors. Apparently even as good as you believe your system is, there are those that disagree.... enough of them to support the doctors not in the system.

We already have programs in place to help those who have no or little money. We have indigent care, we have welfare, WIC, medicare, medicaid, then there are several more programs at the state level. There's free health clinics, and more medical care given at the schools (without parent knowledge or consent) than I am comfortable with. And that's not even getting into the charitable organizations that help folks.

Of course with a population of 300 million some will fall through the cracks. Our system is not perfect, and I doubt yours is either. Some will fall through the cracks of every system. Some "fall" through because they do not know or can not get to the systems that are there to help them, and some fall through because they are too proud to accept what they view as charity. Some fall because even though they could afford health insurance, they decided to purchase a bigger house, or a newer car, instead.

Yes, our care is expensive. That is, at least in part, to our inability to accept that mistakes happen, and sometimes they are just mistakes.... so we sue. (lawyer's fees and malpractice insurance are not cheap) Our inability to accept responsibility in filing our insurance paperwork ourselves (many doctors now have to hire someone JUST to fill out the paperwork). To the fact that very few folks go through their itemized medical bills to see if everything that they were charged for was even the care they received.... they just pass it on to the insurance company, who has no way of knowing the details of the care you received, whether you had 10cc of morphine or 2 aspirin, or both.

Does anyone actually believe that the cost of healthcare will go down? It may be charged differently.... taxes instead of premiums..... but I doubt we will get more service and less cost. Most likely the majority will see a decrease in coverage and pay more for it.

If the feds force everyone to use their system it IS communism. Not sure where forcing the majority to pay for the minority comes in...... maybe communism, maybe socialism. Whatever it is, it's not democracy.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

There are a lot of misconceptions here in this forum: MY RESPONSES ARE IN CAPS. I AM NOT SHOUTING - I DON'T KNOW HOW TO GET ITALICS!

"We already have welfare, medicare, medicaid (not sure which is for what), indigent care, WIC, etc.... My state has medical and dental programs for children and those that are not insured. This is already medical welfare for those who can not afford it on their own." YES, WE HAVE MANY PROGRAMS, AND THAT IS MY POINT: MULTIPLE SYSTEMS HAVE MULTIPLE OVERHEADS THAT COST US ALL MORE MONEY IN THE LONG RUN. ALSO, THESE PROGRAMS DO NOT ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF FAMILIES LIKE MINE WHO ARE INSURED, BUT DO NOT HAVE DENTAL OR VISION PLANS. I WOULD HAPPILY PAY A CO-PAY FOR MY TWICE ANNUAL CLEANINGS AS PREVENTATIVE CARE, BUT FOR A FAMILY OF EIGHT TIMES $195. PER CLEANING TIMES TWICE A YEAR...WHEW! PLUS EYGLASSES FOR US ALL!

ALSO, MOMTO6, I AM WONDERING WHAT SYSTEM YOU'VE HEARD ABOUT: "It is not the same system that I have heard pushed here in the states then. The systems I've heard involve telling you where you can and can not go, they involve telling you that you will go to jail if you do not use their system." PLEASE CITE THAT PROGRAM - I CAN'T IMAGINE IT'S TRUE AND I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT. AS IT IS NOW, ALL U.S. INSURANCE PLANS LIMIT WHERE YOU MAY SEEK HEALTHCARE - YOU MUST CONSULT A LIST OF APPROVED PROVIDERS (HOSPITALS, PHARMACIES, DOCTORS, ETC.) AND CHOOSE FROM WITHIN THE LIST. WHY ARE YOU NOT BOTHERED BY THAT?

"The other thing we need to deal with as a society is whether we believe that wealthier individuals are entitled to more and/or better health care than those who are not as fortunate."

THAT IS EXACTLY RIGHT, BREWBEER, BUT I DON'T THINK EVERYBODY AGREES. RIGHT, MUDBELLY? UNINSURED PEOPLE MAKE POOR CHOICES - LIKE PURCHASING BIG SCREEN TVs INSTEAD OF HEALTH INSURANCE! "You think the government (aka ME) should pay for you? Why is your health my responsibility?" EH, MUDBELLY? NOBODY WORKS AS HARD OR AS LONG AS WE DESERVING INSURED PEOPLE DO, RIGHT? AND IF YOU CAN'T FIND A GOOD-PAYING JOB THAT OFFERS FULL COVERAGE INSURANCE, TOUGH LUCK.

I DON'T THINK IT IS OK FOR "SOME OF US TO FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS." NO ONE IS MORE ENTITLED TO GOOD HEALTH CARE THAN ANYONE ELSE.

BTW, HOSPITALS ARE PREVENTED BY LAW FROM DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ANYONE'S INABILITY TO PAY, "just don't expect the deluxe suite (you'll probably share a room)" REGARDLES OF WHO IS OR IS NOT PAYING THE BILL. EVERYONE GETS THE SAME STANDARD OF CARE. "We were very frugal whith our health spending choices when we knew how much we could have covered; no ER visits for minor ailments for us." YOU WERE ALSO VERY LUCKY THAT YOU DIDN'T NEED THOSE SERVICES THAT YEAR. PERHAPS YOU NEVER WILL. ALL MY ANNUAL PREVENTIVE EXAMS DIDN'T KEEP ME FROM DEVELOPING KIDNEY CANCER AND NEEDING EMERGENCY CARE FOR IT.

AT THE VERY LEAST, I THINK INSURANCE COMPANIES SHOULD OFFER ONLY ONE LEVEL OF CARE THAT INCLUDES ALL OPTIONS AT ONE PREMIUM FOR ALL INSUREDS. NO ONE CAN PREDICT FUTURE NEEDS, AND GAMBLING WORKS IN THE COMPANIES FAVOR OR THEY WOULDN'T DO IT. DON'T FORGET - WE ALL PAY, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. WE SHOULD JUST TRY TO PAY MORE EQUITABLY.

SHERRY


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

One thing I should clear up (if it's been unclear to anyone :-) is that no one is 'paying' for 'health insce' here. We pay alright, but it comes out of our general income tax to the gov't and is then allocated (like any other program or dept.) to the system (and routinely goes up and down in the sense that in bad years less money is given out for things, whether beds are shut down, equipment not purchased, staff not given the raises they'd like, etc. etc., but it's more or less across the board, though to be honest, there are places, provinces, rural areas, etc. that do end up not getting the same level of care (hard to recruit docs to some areas, provincial govt's have a say in which med. fields more or less money goes to), but one way or another, if you're sick and e.g. go to Emerg (or your GP) it IS paid for every time. Period. No HMO's letting insce. co's decide on who gets what and when.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Lucy what you say about insurance premiums may be true of Alberta. Here in BC if I am unemployed/retired I am required to pay a premium. While I am employed my employer picks up the tab. What you say about rural areas is all too true. Since spring I have been going for one medical test after another, many of them a 200km distant one way or 400km distant in the opposite direction. Two weeks ago I made the 200km drive to find that the diagnostic equipment had broken down yet again. Then I got to drive back the 200km to home. Sure they left a message on my answering machine after I had set out on the road. The medical care itself may be "free" but nobody else is paying for my time or travel. It seems to be a matter of jumping through one hoop so that one can jump through the next. I am given very little information on the relevance of these tests, they don't seem to want to scare people in case the tests come out negative. While my father was alive I could always count on him for a straightforward second opinion, he was a physician by training though he was never licensed in this country because the medical guilds made the effort excessive. With a little consideration for people who have to travel they could have booked the various tests for one day so that it could all be done together and not spaced out over months. BTW most of the physicians in this area are from South Africa.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

I wonder where the South African doctors trained????


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

sherrmann-

You complain about a measly $115 premium, yet you don't pay more than the 7% annual needed for a tax deduction with 8 people covered? Your getting a pretty good deal; try figuring 50% of your annual income minus what you pay in taxes now...

What you are complaining about is the cost of raising children. If you can't afford 6 kids, then don't make 6 kids. Its really as simple as that. Do you have a farm to run or something? Why are you doing twice annual dental cleanings? How about getting some Sonicare toothbrushes, some tartar control toothpaste, and doing cleanings every OTHER year (that alone will save you thousands for more insurance). Eyemasters has 2 complete pairs of glasses for $99, and Sams club will give you a vision/contact exam for $50 TOTAL - vision insurance was the biggest waste I ever took at work...

As for all US plans "telling you where to go" - that is complete BS. More choices cost more money. More importantly, if you don't pay your bills on time then you have no reason to complain about anything else at all. I expect to be paid for my services - don't you? Grown-ups pay their bills on time - you should teach all those kids how to be a responsible American...

I never said you didn't work as hard, and I don't have full coverage insurance myself(it is very rare today). Just don't tell me how healthcare "should" be for those who pay nothing vs. those who sacrifice and pay a lot. It isn't a right (and never has been throughout history), and it has always been expensive. You have a choice here, and it shouldn't be any other way...


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Sherrmann: I don't know how to do italics either, so I'm just going to use the age old quotes, should I quote you. =0)

The different systems were all listed on a website at one time, but it was several months ago, I believe it's "hillaries" plan that has the communist bent I mentioned (though I could be wrong on that....). Obama had one that makes a immediate "check-up" mandatory, though I don't remember what happens if you tell them to pound sand.

"WHY ARE YOU NOT BOTHERED BY THAT?"

Who says I'm not?!? Ok, I'm not as bothered by companies restricting the folks who choose to use their company, because each and every one of those folks have the choice not to give that company their money. (I also understand that those companies have made agreements with the doctors on their list, that they can only charge their people certain amounts, thus saving the insurance company and the consumer both money. Thus the reasons for the lists.... of course you can go outside your system, but the company will only pay the amount they have worked out with the doctor on their list... you will have to pay the rest.) Consumers seem to have forgotten that what they buy, they get. If there is not an option out there that they find ok, then they have the choice not to buy at all. We had a post either here or in the money saving forum that proves that point to the letter. Someone wanted to be able to pay their bill by phone without charge. At least 5 folks came on saying that they should just accept what the company offered, even if it wasn't what they wanted. Excuse me WHAT?!?!?!? Why the heck should we do that? There are too many companies offering similar services to settle for what one company offers.

My dad just had a woman for a satellite company tell him that he had to either pay $70 for a service call, or pay a monthly fee to have them come out and fix their equipment, that there was no other choice. She was actually shocked to find out that HIS choice would involve a rival company and NOT paying this company's bogus fees. (they came out and fixed their stuff without charge)

Yes, I know, just like that lady on the phone, many believe that they do not have a choice in the insurance company they choose. It's simply not true. You always have a choice. It may be between something bad and something worse, but it is still a choice.

"I DON'T THINK IT IS OK FOR "SOME OF US TO FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS." NO ONE IS MORE ENTITLED TO GOOD HEALTH CARE THAN ANYONE ELSE."

No, it's not "OK", but it IS going to happen. No matter how good the system it's still run by people, and people aren't perfect. There are folks in every system in the world falling through those cracks.

Are wealthy people "entitled" to more/better care simply because they can pay for it themselves? As much as it seems to go against the grain, and that I hate the word "entitled"....... Yes. In the same way as they are "entitled" to better houses, better cars, and even better tvs. They can pay to fly to where ever the expert in their particular problem is, they can afford to stay as long as they need to in that area, they can afford the fees that the best can charge. They can also chase all over the world for the latest "cure" not available here, to the scientists and the wackos who they think can help. They can pay to have a private nurse come to their home and stay with them for 24 hours a day for months and/or years. And as much as many may hate it, those wealthy folks chasing the fountain of youth, allow the experts to volunteer their time helping those that may not have as much. Allows them to charge less if anything to those who can not afford to pay. And in the case of a home health nurse... pays a living salary for someone else.

This does not mean that everyone should not be able to get some basic care. It does not mean that everyone should be able to get good care. And if you need me to pay for your basic health care, then you should be willing to go through the systems currently in place. They may be broken, but they are in place. Somehow it seems to speak to the "throw away" society we have become that no one is interested in fixing what we have, they just want to go out and buy "healthcare 2.0".

Kidney cancer (hopefully you are doing better now) is not a minor ailment. I believe that the comment was directed at those who could not be bothered to take a few hours off work to take a kid with a cold to the regular doctor. Anyone who has ever been in an ER has seen the number of folks with routine care concerns that are filling up the seats and bogging down the staff. Each and every one of those folks are going to be charged ER rates, which is probably 2-3 times more than a regular office visit, even including the time off work. Which may have something to do with Americans "paying twice as much" for care than other parts of the world, if in fact we do. If we do it is probably the ONLY thing we pay more for.

I believe that I am intelligent enough to make my own decisions, and am old enough to take responsibility for my own actions or inactions. Whatever they may be.

I wonder how many folks will be thrown into financial trouble by these plans (even those without a communist bent). With many living paycheck to paycheck and that's without insurance... how much worse off will those that we are supposedly trying to "help" be? How many will tank out and go under with the additional tax burden?

Yes, it sounds good as long as you do not scratch the surface. So did ARM's and IO loans not too long ago......


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

If health insurance is mandated, what will that change? How will it be enforced? (I show up at the ER with appendicitis -- they won't opperate because I have no insurance? Aren't we back where we started, with huge ER bills that aren't paid because the patients are so poor that the only place they can go is an ER?)

Auto insurance is mandated. When I read our town's police blotter at least 75% of drivers ticketed have none -- nor do many have licenses!

Chicago has a law against driving with a cell phone in your hand. Yeah, right. That's been as effective as the ordinance against selling fois gras.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Uh, Mudbelly, it is Jonesy who pays $115 a month, not I. I pay $841.66 per month for my own premium, plus I must meet a $2500. annual deductible.

Thanks for the tips on raising my kids, but they are all grown, responsible members of society. Believe me, we explored EVERY option to save money while they were growing up. BTW, no farm here, though we do have a large garden. Forgive a little brag here, but five of them have earned Master's Degrees, and the sixth has just been accepted for her PhD program in Anthropology, just as soon as she gets her BS in May. Thank goodness for student loans!

I am not an angry person - I am thankful we didn't meet the deductible because we were all healthy. I was simply pointing out inequities. My husband retired two years ago. His peak salary as a journalist was $59,000.00 a year. We have been very careful with our money.

My plan certainly does restrict my choices as to whom to see or where to go for services. It is not BS.

I certainly never suggested Health care is or should be free. It should be available and equitable, and we should all pay, as we do now.

MOMto6 "I believe that the comment was directed at those who could not be bothered to take a few hours off work to take a kid with a cold to the regular doctor. Anyone who has ever been in an ER has seen the number of folks with routine care concerns that are filling up the seats and bogging down the staff. Each and every one of those folks are going to be charged ER rates, which is probably 2-3 times more than a regular office visit, even including the time off work. Which may have something to do with Americans "paying twice as much" for care than other parts of the world, if in fact we do. If we do it is probably the ONLY thing we pay more for."..... I don't think it's fair to say they "could not be bothered to take a few hours off work..." Most hourly workers have no health insurance whatsoever, and if they don't work, they don't get paid for those hours. They do not have a relationship with a doctor because they cannot afford one so they are forced to hope they will get better, and when they get sicker they go to the ED.

Chisue, LOL, you are right about mandates. The last thing we need is more quick-fix laws. The fois gras law was a beaut, as is the cell phone ban.

Sherry


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

We haven't touched on something that's becoming more and more important: Public Health. We're not meeting the needs of all of our own residents (legal and illegal) and the entire world's diseases are only a plane ride away.

When 'foreigners' arrive with a disease, or simply unvaccinated against common diseases, we are all at risk. The same is true of our own citizens who cannot afford preventive care (or don't understand it) or who wait too long to treat diseases, some of them communicable.

It's in our own best interest to provide at least a minimum standard of health care to all. That's not 'communism' (puh-leese!), it's common sense.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Sherrrman you don't get it - NO one shows up in Canada and is asked if they have insce, NO one. We ALL have cards no matter who we are (the provinces do not check to see if we've paid anything (including income tax) when sending out cards - we just get them and then if we need care, we go and get it, free, with no questions, ever, all the time. Yes there are small things that we'll pay for - peripheral stuff that isn't direct care as such, like glasses, ambulance calls (tho' this routinely comes up for review), ongoing rebandaging supplies outside of hospital) but the costs are small and only for the items, not inflated by insce. co's or anything. Alberta, being rich as Texas and very right wing, has had ongoing arguments about allowing individual MD's offices to charge but the federal gov't keeps fighting it and in fact, going to those MD's is a choice, because if you're sick in Alta (or in BC) you still go to any regular GP or Emerg, and just get treated, free.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

if we need care, we go and get it, free, with no questions, ever, all the time.

I think you meant:

if we need care, we go and get it, since we're paying for it through taxes, with no questions, ever, all the time.

Nothing's free when government's handing it out.


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Sherrrman - So sorry - I meant to address that note to Chisue!


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

lucy -- And *I* should have been clear that I am speaking as an American, of the health deficiencies in the USA.

I am the grateful recipient of free care on an airliner making a stop in GB enroute home from Italy. I had a kidney stone. A British nurse came onboard and gave me a pain shot so I could make it home. (The pilot wanted me to deplane right there!)


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RE: Canadian Health Care System???

Bentruler responded: "I think you meant:

if we need care, we go and get it, since we're paying for it through taxes, with no questions, ever, all the time."

And what is wrong with that, Bentruler? You prefer what...no treatment? Agonizing over whether or when to get treatment? Wondering how you'll pay for treatment if you don't have insurance? Treatment for some but not all people?

Just asking.


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