Aaaarrrrrgggghhh!  I just got into, ahem, a discussion about healthcare in the U.S. versus healthcare in Canada.  According to the person I was in this "discussion", Canadian healthcare is no good, terrible, horrible and Canadians are crossing the border in droves to be treated here lest they die in Canada waiting from treatment if they can even get it.

The Bill O'Reilly impersonator with whom I had this discussion is relying on anecdotes from an healthcare worker who lives in Ontario but works in the States at a hospital in a surgical support role.  According to this Canadian resident, a patient in need of cardiac surgery cannot get treatment in Canada before expiring and so must seek surgery in the States.  I asked if the Canadians were paying cash, had private insurance or were relying on their national health care plan to pay.  The Billo guy had no idea.  I pointed to a study that I had sent him (this is not the first time we have engaged in this discussion) regarding Canadians' satisfaction with their national healthcare.  According to this study, Canadians are satisfied, know the system needs improvement, do not want to gut it but rather put more money into the system to improve it.  The Billo guy didn't read it, didn't care and said it was all anecdotal anyway so it proved nothing.

I pointed to the problems with our healthcare or lack of healthcare.  That many people don't have insurance.  That as a population we are less healthy than the Canadians.  He still insisted our system was better than theirs because Canadians have to wait too long or die before they are seen by a doctor.  I said they wait about as long as it takes us to get an appointment with a doctor especially a specialist.  He said he doesn't wait, can get in immediately because he just calls his friend, a doctor and gets in.  Seriously folks, he didn't understand that most of us do not have these kind of connections, do not live in the world of professionals who live in the neighborhood and golf at the country club (this Billo guy lives in that world).

I know the Canadian system isn't perfect.  I know our system is far from perfect.  But I assume that Canadians would have thrown out a healthcare system if it was so terrible and ineffective a long time ago.  I know Canadians don't go bankrupt due to illness.  Americans do.  I know Americans die because they don't have health insurance.  I know Canada has lower a maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate.  I know a lot of American health statistics look like a third world country.

So Canadian Kossaks I ask for your help in fighting the trash talk about your healthcare system.  

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