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So the fear machine will ramp up again and they will be ranting on the evils of Canadian health care. Here's a great news piece that tears apart the myths that Republicans are using to scare Americans.  

This was written as a perspective piece in the Denver Post by Rhonda
Hackett who is a Canadian citizen and has lived in the U.S. for the past 17 years.  Here's the lead in that matters:

Because if the only way we compared the two systems was with statistics, there is a clear victor. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to dispute the fact that Canada spends less money on health care to get better outcomes.

And when they bring up the whole "it'll raise our taxes" canard see what they have to say about this:

In actuality, taxes are nearly equal on both sides of the border. Overall, Canada's taxes are slightly higher than those in the U.S. However, Canadians are afforded many benefits for their tax dollars, even beyond health care (e.g., tax credits, family allowance, cheaper higher education), so the end result is a wash. At the end of the day, the average after-tax income of Canadian workers is equal to about 82 percent of their gross pay. In the U.S., that average is 81.9 percent.

Read it all here:

Denver Post

Originally posted to sddem on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 07:43 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You mean Canada is not the third world? (10+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the diary.

    Give every American a fair chance at the race of life - A. Lincoln and B. Obama

    by captainlaser on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 07:44:55 PM PDT

  •  Rick Sanchez on CNN has been talking this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotsright, csquared

    He needs some factual help,
    which this will provide,
    but it is great to see someone
    actually talking about it.

    Thanks for the diary.

    Stonewall was a RIOT!

    by ExStr8 on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 07:56:35 PM PDT

  •  Caught an ad today (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, csquared, Munchkn

    running on CNN, with a Canadian woman saying she'd had a brain tumor (IIRC), and her care was delayed in Canada, so she went to the US for surgery, and would have died if she waited.

    I didn't think to make a mental note of the organization behind the ad.

  •  Canada's health care system (13+ / 0-)

    is not well understood in the U.S..  I am Canadian, and one aspect that surprises many of my friends in the States is that there is much free enterprise in the Canadian system.  People in the States assume that everybody that works in the Canadian health care system is a public employee, but the Canadian provinces which administer the system often contract out services to the private sector.  For instance, much of the diagnostic medicine in Alberta, where I live, is done by private companies.  My last MRI was done by a private company under contract with the Alberta provincial health care system.  I was not charged; it was covered by the Alberta health care system. I own stock in one such diagnostic company, CML Healthcare, which does work in many provinces in Canada. They do a lot of diagnostic bloodwork in Canada as well. The reality is that some health care services are better done by private enterprise (under strict supervision), and our system allows that.

    The right wing cries of "socialist!" that we hear from the States do not necessarily describe our system. There are many ways we can work to create an efficient system under our single payer system.  Our system is not perfect, but it is far superior to the health care system down in the States.  I have family down there so I have knowledge of both systems.  Any reasonable study of the two systems will conclude that the Canadian health care system is less expensive and it gives better outcomes that the U.S. health care system.

    God is innocent: Noah built on a flood plain.

    by alphorn on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 08:35:18 PM PDT

    •  Yeah (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Munchkn, soundchaser, MichaelNY

      Private Enterprise is alive and well within the Canadian health-care system.

      CML Helathcare, as alphorn said, is the prime example - they run pretty much every diagnostic lab in Ontario, and they're very good at it. Example: last month I went to my GP for my annual physical, and at the end he gave me a requisition for a bunch of tests. I went to the CML lab down the hall from him, and got most of them done (no cash - just handed them the form) - but one needed me to fast for 24hrs before doing it. So I went back to my cottage (where I was living at the time), fasted for a day, and then went to the CML in my local town. Showed the same form (again no cash), did the test, and that evening I got a call from my doctor - located in a different city from the lab - to talk about the results.

      AT&T offers exciting work for recent graduates in computer science. Pick up the phone, call your mom, and ask for an application.

      by Scipio on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 09:02:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you should think about making this a diary n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExStr8, Wino, MichaelNY

      Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

      by stitchmd on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 11:26:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Posted this on another diary but appropriate here (7+ / 0-)

    Liz Cheney was on Larry King tonight with the usual right wing talking points about the Canadian Health Care system. The live comment blog exploded with Canadian viewers refuting her misinformation. (a search for "canad" more than 100 hits.)
    It's worth the read.

    Here is the link.

    Larry King Live Comments Blog

  •  The Canadian Woman Who Fled to US for Treatment (4+ / 0-)

    will be all over everything now. Even "As it Happens" the Canadian Broadcasting afternoon/evening show was featuring her.

    But I don't think any Democrat, even those who've moved beyond the tired politics of the past, could have anticipated that the global economy would fight such a good idea as a small public health option.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 08:54:30 PM PDT

    •  As Canadians, it's actually in our best... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, ExStr8, Kingsmeg, tardis10, MichaelNY

      interest for the U.S. to keep the system they now have. The lower cost of our health care gives us a labour advantage. So you'd think we'd just keep our mouths shut about it - but, and I'm gonna assume there are others like me, besides the obvious desire to see the terrible stories of lives ruined end, I honestly can't stand to hear those who either don't know better, or do and are outright willful liars denigrate how we do things - as if we're too stupid or naive to know we're being 'duped'.

      "...I'm hovering like a fly, waiting for the windshield on the freeway."

      by soundchaser on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 10:38:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OK... about Canadian taxes... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alphorn

    While it may be true that income tax rates in Canada are close to those in the US... there are a few big (IMO) differences.  There's not much that's deductible.  You may not think it's a big deal, but think about your tax return if you couldn't deduct mortgage interest or taxes (state, real estate, or personal property).  And another thing... in the US, the effective tax rate is applied to your income AFTER deductions.  In Canada, the rate you pay is based on your income BEFORE deductions.  So that little game many play where they try to find deductions that might push them into a lower tax bracket... well, it wouldn't make any difference in Canada.  These things have the effect of increasing the amount of tax you pay, relative to your income.  And don't forget... Canadians also pay a national sales tax (right now it's 5%).

    Please understand... I support the President in his efforts to provide health care for all Americans.  And basically, I think the health care system here in Canada is a good one (as was written, not perfect, but with its merits).  OTOH, I don't know if it's valid to use the Canadian system as a model.  That would be a massive overhaul and mean the probable demise of most private health insurance providers.  I think a hybrid system, like the one proposed by the President has a better chance of working in the US.  Providing a public option for those who can't afford private insurance and at the same time setting standards that will encourage the insurance industry to be more competitive... these are good things, IMO.

    •  Do the provinces have sales tax? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      If they don't, then the national sales tax is no big deal, IMHO.

      •  And what about provincial and local income tax? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm in New York City, where the sales tax is going up to 9.25% shortly (it's been 8.25% for some time). The state and city income taxes are also quite substantial.

      •  Depends on the province (0+ / 0-)

        In Ontario, it's 8%... although there are some things, like food, that are not taxed.

        So... basically, any big ticket item, like a car or house, you can add 13% to the cost (if you live in Ontario).  It can be a shock!

    •  Sadly, there is no chance we are going to get a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, P Mikkelsen

      Canadian system.  I would be the happiest woman in the world if we did.  Most of my relatives and in-laws live in Canada, and watching the services provided to them--especially to the elderly compared to what's provided by medicare-- is stunning.  And medicare IS our public option.  The GOP line on Canadian health care is simply the most ignorant and duplicitous propaganda imaginable.
      I would gladly pay MUCH higher taxes to get a system anything like Canada's.

      Nothing amuses me more than the easy manner with which everybody settles the abundance of those who have a great deal less than themselves. --Jane Austen

      by feeny on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 10:53:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree about GOP mindless opposition... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        feeny

        So much of what they assert is hogwash.

        I didn't mean that a Canadian system wouldn't be good in the US... I just meant that given the current system and how intrenched it is, I don't see it happening.  OTOH, a public option that supplements (and competes with) the current system would be a good alternative, IMO.

    •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stitchmd, MKSinSA

      This Canadian says eh?  This is just wrong.

      In any case, the calculations cited in the diary include all of your concerns, and those are the final numbers.  

      Mark Twain -Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.

      by Kingsmeg on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 11:10:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry... which part is wrong? (0+ / 0-)

        The things I cited (re: deductions, etc) are true, aren't they?  As far as what was or wasn't included in the calculations underlying that article, do you know these things were included?  Because you know as well as I do that numbers can be manipulated.  I'm not saying that's what they did... just that sometimes people do this.  One could just look at the rates in the tax table and surmise that there's not a big difference, but that's not the whole picture.  All I was trying to do is clarify the major differences I have seen, having been a taxpayer in both places.

  •  The median after-tax income after gross (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Munchkn

    would be interesting to see, considering that distribution of wealth is substantially different in the US and Canada. There are many, many more exceedingly rich people in the US. So, the tax statistics become more interesting.

    That said, I don't know how the #s were calculated. Just income taxes? What about sales taxes (higher in Canada). Or property taxes? Even so, I suspect the "average person" (i.e., the median person) in Canada gets more for their tax dollars.

    When I moved to Vancouver from Pasadena, my income more than doubled, but the percentage of income taxes I paid (and I wasn't paying payroll taxes) stayed the same.

    "For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and non-believers." Pres. Obama

    by Light Emitting Pickle on Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 09:55:31 PM PDT

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