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View Diary: How ACA can save lives: let’s visit my Emergency Room on Thanksgiving morning (158 comments)

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  •  USA / Canada (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalSal, Drobin, Eyesbright, twcollier

    Last week my brother and I had to drive down to Minnesota to pick up our 86-year old Mom from a hospital she had been taken to by ambulance. She was on a bus tour from Ontario which featured a few days shopping and a night at a casino.

    The care she received in Cloquet was absolutely great. The nurses treated her like she was visiting royalty and the doctor, who spent quite a bit of time with us on the phone, was as professional and friendly as one could ever hope to find.

    When we picked her up the next day she had spent a night in ICU after being admitted through Emergency the evening before. Mom always buys health insurance before she goes into the states with her travel club - I know this because I take her to buy it every time. Perhaps the insurance was OK because they didn't ask us to pay anything before we headed back to Canada. I asked her nurse what the cost might have been without insurance and her answer was "probably about $5000".

    After a day and a half back home we took her to the Emergency in Thunder Bay and she was subsequently admitted to hospital for 6 days, during which she had many tests, including ECG, CAT Scan, Ultrasound and Echocardiogram. She was released yesterday at supper time.

    The cost for her care in Thunder Bay was nothing - as in zero dollars and zero cents. Our hospital is less than a decade old and state-of-the-art. The cost was zero to Mom for a 6-day stay and lots of tests. The cost in Cloquet, Minnesota would have been $5K for one day.

    One thing must be emphasized though - I think you could visit just about every hospital in the world and not find nicer people than there were in Cloquet.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:18:34 PM PST

    •  Clarification (5+ / 0-)

      It seems strange to answer my own post but maybe it would have been useful to explain how we pay for health care in Canada.

      We don't purchase insurance. Health costs are paid out of provincial taxes and transfers to provinces by the federal government. In Ontario there is a 'Fair Share Health Levy' on our provincial tax form which assesses an extra amount to pay for people earning over a certain amount - which I think is close to 70K a year. I think that in the last year I worked I paid something like $350 for the year - and that was on a salary about 75K over the benchmark. I'm guessing that someone in Ontario who makes $150K a year would pay an additional levy for health of under 50 bucks a month.

      Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

      by dpc on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:39:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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