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I keep getting into arguments with Republicans or fiscal conservatives who are otherwise liberal (pro-choice, pro-marriage equality).

Yesterday I went to dinner with some friends and among them was this conservative Canadian who was disappointed Obama won.  As a business owner who works “hard” to grow his business into an international franchise and as a job creator (he used that term), he said he wanted someone who understands that the economy depends on making business such as his grow.  We talked debt, economy, socialism, among other topics and I countered his arguments with mine (The Daily Kos/Immizen view – Immizen.com is my lil blog), but when it came to discussing Obama's healthcare law as it compares to the Canadian healthcare system, I was at a loss for arguments because I am not familiar with the Canadian system, but also because his story was shocking, perhaps bordering on unethical.  

Before writing this article I did a little online research. Wikipedia has some nice sections that discuss “Criticisms” about “waiting times” and “Canadians visiting the US to receive health care”, among others, but if there are Canadians in the house tonight or people who know more about this I’d like to hear from you. Is the Canadian system offering a substandard quality of service compared to the US?

The “Health care in Canada” Wikipedia page says that

A Strategic Counsel survey found 91% of Canadians prefer their healthcare system instead of a U.S. style system
But it also says
Respondents rated quality of service as excellent (36% Canada, 40% US), and being very satisfied with health care services (42% Canada, 53% US).
When our conversation turned to healthcare, the Canadian guy recounted his own experience with the Canadian system. He said he had some skin pigmentation or spots and that in Canada he had to wait forever to get an appointment and then the doctors would dismiss it and just give him creams and tell him it was “nothing” serious. When he went to a doctor in the US, since he lives here, the doctor did a biopsy and diagnosed it as skin cancer. He tried to get an appointment to have the skin cancer excised in Canada but as it took too long, he went to a doctor here at the US, paid $20,000 to have it removed and now he has peace of mind.

I honestly have a hard time believing that the Canadian doctors would not have diagnosed the skin cancer. I was also shocked that he had to pay $20,000 for skin surgery. He seemed to be happier about getting the procedure done promptly even if it cost him so much money (but the guy has money) than having to wait to get treatment or a proper diagnosis elsewhere. I think he should have gotten a second opinion here in the US. Maybe that surgery was not necessary. I believe there is a psychological/emotional aspect that makes us want to deal with health problems immediately. I understand that.

I wonder if the experience by this Canadian is an outlier and how to ensure that these issues don’t occur with Obamacare.

Update: I thank you all for your comments and I agree that this case is an outlier as patients with abundant cash are rare. I also agree that sometimes aggressive treatment is not necessary and even counterproductive. And as mankoff said, conservative PMs have cut the health care budget in Canada, which is equivalent to US Republicans blocking of Dem initiatives, and then people blaming Dems for the economy.  And of course I agree that a "Fee for Service" healthcare system sucks and relieved that it will soon be a thing of the past!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Malpractice (4+ / 0-)

    Us doctors are afraid of being sued for missed diagnosis.

    wall Street Casino is the root of the problem. Don't call them banks.

    by timber on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:42:30 PM PST

    •  Yes, It's Hard To Believe Refusal To Treat Cancer, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      historys mysteries

      results in retention of a license to practice medicine.

    •  Oh, B.S. it's not lawsuits, it's fee for service (20+ / 0-)

      From the states that have instituted "malpractice reform" limiting punitive damages and limiting consequential damages just to health care treatment (versus allowing compensation for reduced earnings ability, etc.) we have clear studies that doctors in states that have instituted tort reform DO NOT treat patients any differently - either in the number or kinds of tests / diagnostic procedures, or in the types of treatment - than doctors in states without tort reform.

      My guess on this is that the US doctor saw a golden $$ opportunity - a foreigner paying cash, so he got the gold plate special including surgery, whether he needed it or not.

      Also, it may be that the spots were pre-cancerous but indeed were nothing serious. They could well have monitored his condition and he might never had needed surgery, or at least may not have needed it for years. But instead, he chose to pay a ton of money health care he didnt' need for "peace of mind".

      Just like men with prostate cancer, which we now know to be, generally, a slow growing cancer that generally does not spread much.  Most men will have it in their lifetimes, but only 1 out of 15 actually needs radiation or surgery when initially diagnosed.  Yet, here in the US, men choose the aggressive treatment, and wind up impotent and/or incontinent, their bodies subjected to radiation or major surgery that takes more years off their lives than the prostate cancer ever would have.

      The rest of the world knows that fee for service is a model that doesn't benefit the patient, bankrupts health care systems, and ultimately delivers more health care that leads to no better outcomes.

      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

      by absdoggy on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:59:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  absdoggy - two completely different issues (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neuroptimalian, nextstep

        You are combining the actual economic loss of being party to a malpractice lawsuit with how physicians in the US are trained, in part, because of the fear of malpractice. The fact that we primarily operate on a fee for service basis is part of the issue, but the bigger issue is the defensive medicine we practice to guard against malpractice lawsuits. In many cases the primary physician earns no additional fees for ordering more diagnostic tests, but do anyway because it protects them and has no economic cost to them. However, even in capitated systems, like Kaiser, they still over test because that is how our physicians are trained. No other G20 country has a medical malpractice system like the US and they practice medicine differently, and less expensively.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:01:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This has got to be one of the stupidest arguments (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Anne Elk

          I've ever heard - and I've heard it a lot.

          How many doctors do you think are actually MORE concerned with whether they're going to be sued than whether their patients are going to live or die?  If they are, maybe they shouldn't be doctors.  

          No other G20 country doesn't have some form of universal health care coverage, with some controls over cost.  That's what makes the difference.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:25:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  gustynpip - I am not writing only about life (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nextstep, healthy

            threatening disease, but how medicine is practiced in the US. I am not commenting about the specific case in the diary of skin cancer, although there data is clear that this is one of the negatives of the Canadian system, that it diagnosis and treats cancer not on a par with the US. There is no doubt that the every day interaction between physician and patient in the US is heavily influenced by our malpractice system resulting in the over testing of patients as insurance for the physicians. I have been working in healthcare for nearly 30 years and talk to physicians almost every day. It is hardly a "stupid argument", it's a fact.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:34:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If it's a fact, then explain the studies (0+ / 0-)

              Texas has had malpractice reform for 9 years now. Malpractice claims and insurance premiums have dropped there.  Yet, if you look at how Texas doctors diagnose and treat patients, there is no statistical difference in the number or type of tests they perform, or the number or type of treatments.

              This is a fact, shown by the Stanford and Kellog studies. If it was the fear of being sued, then why is there no difference in Texas when the fear of being sued has basically been all but removed?

              Here in Hampton Roads, Virginia, I have looked up the statistics - in the last 5 years, the average doctor has incurred .2 malpractice claims against him.  That is, only 20% of all doctors in Hampton Roads have had a malpractice claim against them in the last 5 years.  Please tell me, when 80% of doctors don't even have a malpractice claim against them in the last 5 years, how and why would their treatment of patient be influenced by our malpractice system? It's a bogus claim right out of the Republican playbook.

              Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

              by absdoggy on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:14:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  absdoggy - my comments have nothing to do (0+ / 0-)

                with malpractice reform whatsoever. The fact that pain and suffering has a cap, or malpractice insurance rates are lower, or that few physicians actually are sued doesn't matter. However, even in one of your surveys 20% of physicians had been sued int he past five years. How does that compare to other professions? Our entire system of medical practice is heavily influenced by the fear that physician educators and practicing clinicians have of our legal system. It may not be logical, but it is a fact and one of the primary reasons health care is twice as expensive in the US as other major G7 countries.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:47:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  My view on this is based on my personal (0+ / 0-)

                conversations with physicians. It has nothing to do with Republican talking points but rather talking to physicians in the US and comparing how they practice to physicians in Europe.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:51:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Doctors need to be concerned about patients (0+ / 0-)

            and being sued.   You will have a hard time finding a physician in private practice who would agree with you.

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:52:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Links to sources? nt (0+ / 0-)

        Once you vote smart, you never go back. Four more years!

        by healthy on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:29:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If you took away the Americans that have Canadian (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      healthy

      type healthcare in the USA (seniors, retired military, the poor, government workers, children with government supplemented health insurance programs) what would be the percentage that is very satisfied with their healthcare program?

  •  Canadian here. Our system works extremely well, (36+ / 0-)

    99% of the time. You hear stories now and then, but I have never had a problem getting the care I needed, when I needed it and don't know anyone who has.
    Did this person suggest an alternate system that would work better?
    No system is going to be perfect, but anything is better than what you guys have had up til now.

    You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore

    by Thomasina on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:50:18 PM PST

    •  Good question. This guy is a conservative. (8+ / 0-)

      His alternate system is "you are on your own", and just ensure good health car services no matter the cost. I am guessing here, but from all he said, I'm pretty sure he prefers that as long as the government can save money and pay down the debt. As with many (otherwise liberal) conservatives, their arguments always go back to the debt.

      When I say liberal I mean, this guy is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage.

      Once you vote smart, you never go back. Four more years!

      by healthy on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:00:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I live neat the border, and interact with Canucks (10+ / 0-)

      regularly. I have yet to meet one that would trade their system for ours. Most think we are batshit crazy to accept our system. When pressed about what could be better about their system, they will say something about sometimes waiting for non emergent procedures like hip replacement.  

    •  To follow up (9+ / 0-)

      I have lived in Canada and am a US citizen.   I have been hospitalized in both countries for serious health issues -- emergency surgery in Canada and heart valve in the US (and I am pretty young so my cases were not standard in either instance).  I have excellent care in both cases.  The only difference was that I had a very basic -- but adequate -- hospital room in Canada and had to pay for the tv access, whereas the hospital room was almost luxurious in the US and all the bells and whistles were included.  I personally could do without the extras and just have been happy with single payer system under which my life was saved (which it was, thanks to the excellent Canadian doctors and nurses who cared for me).  

      I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy. Twitter: @HawaiiDelilah

      by Delilah on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 11:27:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Plus the Canadian guy is full of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Deb

      shit.  I recently had a spot removed.  It was performed as an out patient service, in the doctor's office.  Took a very short time and didn't cost anywhere close to $20,000.  So either he had a doctor who saw an idiot and decided to make some easy money or he's lying through his teeth.

      When there's potential for a serious health issue, that person goes to the front of the line for health care in Canada.  I know.  My husband is from Canada and his family seems prone to cancer.  Every one of them has been treated immediately and extremely well.  Without any cost except for drugs - which are a fraction of the price they are here.  And receiving 2/3's their pay during their disability.  

      We could only wish for the kind of care Canadians get when they're seriously ill.  They might go on a list for elective surgeries or not urgent illnesses.  But who in this country doesn't have to wait for an appointment as well?  

      This guy had something that the his doctor didn't think was urgent.  I suspect the doctor had a much better idea of whether his case was more urgent than others'.  But he figured he deserved special treatment; after all, he was more important than those peons who can't afford $20,000, even if they're at a higher risk of dying.  Assholes like that make me so tired.  I'm so glad Canada puts people like my sister-in-law, who had an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer, ahead of self centered assholes like him.  As a result, she's alive to raise her little girl, even though she's not rich or important.  One more year being cancer free and she can expect to live a long life.  Who knows whether that would have been the case in this country.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:35:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's just say anyone (9+ / 0-)

    who can drop $20K out of pocket to treat some spots on their skin is an outlier. I'll go further and speculate that this Canadian works in the oil industry, and is an Albertam.

    The Canadian Health Care system often involves longer waits for treatment (sometimes months) than Americans are used to. This can be described as rationing, or prioritizing. Sometimes this does result in health issues not being diagnosed and treated in the optimal timeframe.

    Canadians who can afford to do so sometimes opt for treatment in the US.  A significant drain on the Canadian system is Canadian doctors choosing to move to the US, where they can make more money.

    •  Perhaps start by making medical schoool more (5+ / 0-)

      affordable, that way doctors don't have to charge exorbitant prices to pay down student debt. And doctors salaries should also be regulated, because some doctors chose to be doctors mainly for prestige, as a family tradition and to make money. It is sad but true. I know 2 cardiologists who make between $400K to $600K a year. Both hate Obamacare.

      Once you vote smart, you never go back. Four more years!

      by healthy on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:04:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Typo correction: "medical school". nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        Once you vote smart, you never go back. Four more years!

        by healthy on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:09:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  From what I understand, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        healthy, gustynpip

        the AMA puts limits on the number of doctors that can be graduated every year, though there is a lot of conflicting information on that subject. I quote from the AMA itself:

        The medical delivery system of today seems more impressed by how much money rather than how many lives it can save. I have worked with many excellent physician assistants and advanced practice nurses in my 30+ years of practice, but they and I always felt better that I was around to advise and assist when needed.

        All professions that require time to train go through cycles in their available numbers--it has happened with teachers and nurses, and there is no reason to suppose that the physician supply would be immune to such cycles. It is clear that we need more physician availability in small, rural communities, and that is a matter of distribution rather than simply supply. But the only ways to accomplish a redistribution within our freedom-loving, capitalistic system are incentives to locate in such areas or market forces driven by additional numbers.

        I agree with your points--governors need to be educated about the economic impact of physician shortages; GME needs more support if the educational system as a whole is to continue to turn out physicians in any numbers who are well trained, let alone in larger numbers; and medical education centers need more faculty members to accomplish their missions of education, research, and clinical service.

        Replacing physicians with nurse practitioners and physician assistants is one approach to addressing the shortage of physicians, but begs the question of what type of health care system we want.

        http://www.ama-assn.org/...

        Not only should we make medical school more affordable, we should offer (for example) 2 year contracts to work as a GP in rural areas for some amount of student loan forgiveness.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 04:45:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, of course there are limits (0+ / 0-)

          on the number of physicians that can be trained/graduated.

          Which greatly inflates their salaries . . . .

          But, the limits are not really AMA imposed, they come from the cost of educating physicians - who's going to pay for that.

          What the AMA does DO is stringently lobby against the influx of foreign physicians, which COULD dramatically reduce their high pay  - like in science and technology where pay is rather paltry.

    •  Don't know about waits (6+ / 0-)

      I went to my PG for a small growth in my mouth, got scheduled with a specialist, had outpatient surgery and went home, all in ten days from the first appointment.  My family has other stories of a similar sort.

    •  I work in a hospital in NY state close (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      healthy

      to the Canadian border.

      We have lots of Canadian docs in this area!

      This does make me feel bad. I didn't realize it was as prevalent as you say, enuf to be a drain on your physician resources in Canada.

      What a mixed up mess!

      We have such a shortage of GP's in this area. Hard to get in to see a doc. Mostly we see Physicians Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. Nothing wrong with that for colds and stomach aches. But, I don't think it's right for chronic illnesses that are not being 'managed' well.

      People just become chronic, and their 'career' is going from doctor to ER to doctor to ER. People use the ER as a clinic or urgent care center since there are no alternatives, or they can't afford a doctor visit, or the doc doesn't take their insurance/Medicare.

      Just pathetic.

      I am wondering if we might some day see 'global healthcare'. I know the UK NHS used to offer their patients the option of going to Europe for some procedures. It was to help them reduce their waiting lists.

      anyway, I can't wait for either Obamacare to effect my insurance premiums (i.e. lowers the monthly rate-it went up another $100/mo as of Jan 2013), or I qualify for some sort of exchange, or my Medicare kicks in.

      I nominate Susan Rice for Secretary of State!

      by karma13612 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:18:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He works in real estate. nt (0+ / 0-)

      Once you vote smart, you never go back. Four more years!

      by healthy on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:23:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd say try the U.S. with no insurance (18+ / 0-)

    Suddenly everything else, ANYthing else, seems dreamy cool wunnaful fabulous.

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:54:09 PM PST

  •  The US System is Far Better for Rich Job Creators. (20+ / 0-)

    Nobody's ever tried to deny that. The rich always try to confuse the best available treatments with the mainstream health system which is what treats everybody.

    System wise, we're ranked roughly #37, behind Canada, Columbia, Ireland, Italy, and #1 the French surrender-monkeys.

    Around 45,000 Americans a year die from failure to be French.

    For average folks like me, it took me 25 years to teach myself enough about medicine and diet to correctly overrule my internist's misdiagnosis of low blood sugar as actually being a wheat sensitivity. It took 8 years for a later physician to accidentally disprove a gastro specialist's misdiagnosis of an irritable bowel condition that was really an infection.

    That's a lot of years of reduced earning power, lost creativity and who knows what else, over relatively minor but life-disruptive conditions.

    These kinds of outcomes from doctors being driven by their for-profit employers and for-profit insurance to sprint through the appointment, lacking the time to apply the skills they spent so much time and money to acquire, that go into defining a health care system.

    I see that Canadians use roughly the same system as we do for dental care, basically not covering it much. I'll be purchasing a new small car for my dentist starting next month or early next year.

    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 Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:55:32 PM PST

  •  the canadian doctor probably just told (11+ / 0-)

    him to wait a bit..."watchful waiting" is the norm in many other countries, sometimes in cases where a US doctor would operate sooner, just for peace of mind, but at the risk of perhaps unnecessary surgery.  I seriously doubt the canadian system would have let him die of skin cancer.

  •  No one in my family (in Canada) has ever (9+ / 0-)

    complained about the system.  It seemed to work well when I lived there but as that was a long time ago and I was young and healthy I don't have much to say myself.

    My cousin did end up going to the US for treatment following an auto accident.  She needed some specialized procedure that was not available in Canada, which I think has more to do with population size than differences in the way health care is funded.

    "We are normal and we want our freedom" - Bonzos

    by matching mole on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:58:22 PM PST

  •  Sounds like he got ripped off. (14+ / 0-)

    Dad's had biopsies done, skin cancers identified, and removed for only a couple hundred on an outpatient basis.  Admittedly, I had to deal with his dressing changes, debridement and antibiotics for a month or so, until the dime sized hole on his scalp healed over.

    Given how badly the Canadian got ripped on price, I wouldn't be terribly shocked to wonder if he didn't get ripped off even more, by being told he needed unnecessary and pricey surgery.  Some of those cream will take care of the precancerous spots - Dad has used those creams on other areas of his face before.

  •  Tell your Canadian friend (16+ / 0-)

    that all systems can have glitches, bad doctors, mess ups.

    My cousin, an American with insurance, using the American system, died because his doctor did not biopsy a lump.   My cousin's wife and young son won a mega settlement.  Both would have preferred a husband and dad to be around.

    My sister, also a USA citizen with insurance, died in an ER because it was overwhelmed with people without insurance who used the ER as their medical doctor.  My sister wanted to go to another hospital but the corporates would not do it....rules of the EMT corporations.  The ER was understaffed and overworked.  By the time they got to her, it was too late.  Her aorta burst.  It was on her medical records that she had an aortic aneurysm.  But apparently there was no one to call her cardiologists or read the card stating that.

    No system is perfect.  But a system where there are so many uninsured people that ERs become their "doctors" sucks.  Your Canadian friend sounds like he needs to do some research or get out of his bubble.

    “Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burned women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.”–Louis Dembitz Brandeis

    by Jjc2006 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:08:13 PM PST

    •  So sorry about your sister and cousin. Tragic and (10+ / 0-)

      un-necessary deaths.

      You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore

      by Thomasina on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:22:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  (((((((((((((Jjc2006)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, kyril, splashy, Calamity Jean

      I am so, so, so sorry for your losses.

                             Hugs,
                             Heather

      Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

      by Chacounne on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:37:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  going to the emergency room for bullshit (0+ / 0-)

      reasons is just wrong, I don't care what your circumstances are.  I don't have health care insurance, nor do I have much money...but I would never go to the emergency room unless it was really an emergency...a suspected heart attack, or a broken leg, or serious wound.  

      Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:53:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are a lot of serious conditions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gustynpip

        that, if you had insurance, would likely be handled easily by an office visit or an urgent care clinic or prevented with regular health care, but otherwise may require ER treatment.

        - Infections
        - Surgical complications
        - Complications of pregnancy
        - Minor traumas (broken fingers, cuts requiring stitches)
        - Mental health crises
        - Drug reactions
        - Many unexplained, potentially life-threatening symptoms like severe vomiting, diarrhea, etc. that normally, for someone with insurance, would only merit an ER visit if they appeared in the middle of the night.

        Most acute, life-threatening conditions don't actually require an ER. Most have a window of several days or even weeks for treatment, and most can be handled in a doctor's office with a prescription pad and possibly some minor supplies (splints, stitches). But that doesn't make them any less potentially-fatal.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:21:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What if you had a baby with a cold (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gustynpip

        and no other access to care from a doctor?
        Most uninsured poor people don't go to the ER for bullshit reasons, they go when they're so sick they can't function anymore. Diabetics with lower legs black from lack of circulation. Elderly people who started out with a cold, which then developed into double pneumonia. Babies with anemia and allergies and all kinds of life threatening ailments.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:01:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Canada and Europe (7+ / 0-)

    A few years ago, Forbes did an article that was actually good, comparing health systems around the world, public, private, and mixed.

    One thing they all had it common is that you can find horror stories from all of them.

    Anyone counting Canadians getting medical care in the US needs to subtract the number who happened to be visiting  when they had a medical emergency.

    •  The number of Canadians visiting is very high (12+ / 0-)

      -- many millions per year. I am a Canadian and I am surprised it is only 91% who prefer our system to yours. I'd have guessed 95%.

      When a Canadian travels to the USA our system will pay but only up to what the same procedure would cost here (what the government pays). All doctors visits, all hospital stays, lab work ordered by a doctor, etc are covered, no limits, no co-pays. It is all paid from general revenue (though in some provinces some high earners pay a health care surtax -- I know because I am one of them). When I visit the US I take insurance to cover the extra cost if there is an accident or a heart attack or some such. The extra cost can be very, very high. I know this from a friend who is a lawyer and has litigated such cases or handled bills owing in the US on estates.

      The huge cost difference (on something big it can be hundreds of thousands of dollars is in part because US hospitals treat a lot of people who cannot pay. Here there are no such people and doctors do well because they do not need bill collectors and accounts to deal with 87 different insurance companies each with their own rules and accountants.

      The bottom line is we get excellent care (though there can be waits in some places for some procedures) for about 10% of GNP all in where in the US it is about 16% and lots of people do not get what they need. For emergencies the wait time is more or less zero, I know because I had a mild heart attack at night and they were here faster than I could dress myself and I was into treatment in emergency in way less than a minute from when the ambulance pulled up. I had surgery a couple days later once I was stable. That was 5 years ago. I have been seen and reexamined every 3 months since. Total cost to me: $0. Except I was released in a city away from where I lived where the surgery was done and paid to have a limo take me back (with an adult son riding with me) rather than pressing family to drive me.

      I love our health care system. Would not consider returning to the US (where I was born) because of the difference even with Obamacare (which is a vast improvement from what existed before).

      We have only just begun and none too soon.

      by global citizen on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:38:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "# of Canadians visiting is very high" (0+ / 0-)

        Many millions????  Links?  Stats?  I live about an hour from the border and crossing the border for medical treatment is not common.

        When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die. - Linkin Park

        by mystery2me on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:03:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is probably the number of Canadians visiting (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, global citizen, gustynpip

          for any reason that just happen to need medical care before they get back, not people visiting for medical care.  I would not doubt that millions of Canadians cross the border each year for one reason or another especially if you count the same person multiple times (i.e. count them once for each time that person comes to the US rather than just once regardless of how many times they visit so if John visits the US 5 times that year he counts as 5 people).

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 11:11:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, that is what I meant. There are very (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gustynpip

            few who cross for medical treatment. I am not sure anyone knows that number for sure. But there are something like a million members of what is called the Canadian Snowbirds Association -- retired persons mostly who live in places like Florida and Arizona in the winter. My in-laws did it for decades (Toronto-Naples, FL). I remember that you could buy the Toronto papers same day in most newstands in Naples (pre-everyone having the internet). South Florida other than Miami is almost a Canadian colony. Arizona too (people from Alberta). This pattern is only a proportion of the cross-border travel of course. It is matched by a lot of Americans flowing to summer life on the lakes in Ontario -- enough that my DILs restaurant has a Canadian and a US dollar account here in Ontario.

            We have only just begun and none too soon.

            by global citizen on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:31:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  There are (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hadrons, Emmy, alisonk, kyril, TexMex

    many issues to resolve in the Canadian system but it's available for everyone. I wish dental care was available too.

  •  I'll gladly sell him (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    US for Canadian .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:20:17 PM PST

  •  I know a few Canadians (14+ / 0-)

    Not a single one would trade the U.S. system for theirs.  As one friend put it, "If you have a serious illness, you'll likely be bankrupt, and if I have a serious illness, financially, I'll be exactly where I was when I got sick".  Can't argue with that logic.  And, NONE of my Canadian friends are enamoured with Harper. One described him as "George Bush with a Northern accent".

  •  As a Canadian with multiple disabilities, (14+ / 0-)

    who was married to an American before he died, I have extensive experience in both health care systems.

    My husband was disabled for the last four years of his life, and on dialysis for the last two years. I never left him alone in the hospital because they almost killed him many times, due to overworked and incompetent staff.

    My dad and mom both died of cancer. Mom on December 17th. I never worried about leaving them in the hospital while I went home to sleep.

    My own extensive health care issues have been dealt with as quickly as I could reasonably expect, without cost to me.

    A dear, dear friend, has had skin cancer 8 times (he is a Nordic white blonde) and he has had them removed quickly and competently without cost.

    I would never trade the American health insurance non-system for the Canadian, even if I could get insurance, ever.

                            My two cents as a Canadian,
                                         Heather

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:35:25 PM PST

  •  I only know the system from the perspective of (8+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, Emmy, samtx, jdld, kyril, splashy, skohayes, gustynpip

    a patient, but I can tell you that I got my emergency appendectomy in a timely manner (obviously) and had first rate orthopedic surgery on my fractured fibula/dislocated ankle the same day in another province.  I had scheduled oral surgery that went well.  Anything I ever really needed from the Nova Scotian health care system, I got, without delay and without major out of pocket expense.  I think that's pretty typical.

    There are shortages of family doctors.  There are wait times in the ER.  There are delays in elective surgery.  There are delays in getting to see specialists.  But what people need, they generally get.

  •  tell him to shove it! (7+ / 0-)

    no businessman ever went into business to create jobs. They go into business to supply product and if the demand grows a smart businessman hires to grow and capture more market share. The only people worthy of the 'job creator' title are consumers, without them there is no need for the businessman.

    As far as his skin condition goes tell him about the millions of dollars in fraud of unnecessary medical procedures performed every year. Tell him you hope he didn't waste his money but a profit motivated medical system is sure to have a higher share of scammers. If he chose not to get a second opinion and spent $20k to get a blemish removed well.....you know what they say "a fool and his money are soon parted". One thing I know is how these "I built it all by myself" types loved to be mocked when they're delivering their talking points drivel.
     Hell, I have a far more  compelling story, than him, of how months after I left the USAF I soon discovered a lump and was immediately and successfully treated with surgery and chemotherapy in the totally socialist medical world of the Veterans Administration.

    "We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union."

    by voodoochild62 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:36:36 PM PST

    •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustynpip

      The US does have a Canadian-style health system, but for some reason difficult to explain in any rational manner its success has never caused it to be made universal.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:14:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Canadian (7+ / 0-)

    Eight years ago I had a minor heart attack. I spent a week in intensive care. The cost to my family was a loonie to park when they visited. We might wait a bit for elective surgery, but I can't imagine a better system anywhere.

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

    by dpc on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:40:05 PM PST

  •  I have lived about half my life in Canada and half (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    healthy, jdld, kyril, Calamity Jean, gustynpip

    in the US, kind of alternating. I've had good health insurance in both places (working for universities). Many Americans don't know that many Canadians have extended coverage (often as a work benefit) through private insurance companies. This is to cover things that your provincial plan may not cover, like physiotherapy or private hospital rooms.

    I have had reason to call on health care in both countries pretty extensively, mostly related to moderately serious back injuries, and members of my family have also had this experience for diverse reasons. Among us we have had many MRIs and other high-tech diagnostic tests, many different kinds of surgery (including very new and demanding procedures), and many consultations. I do not know anyone who has had to wait an unreasonable amount of time for anything in Canada; on the contrary, we've always been able to get access amazingly quickly to really world-class experts and facilities. One instructive case was that of one family member, who had to wait a while for an MRI required to plan very complex and quite urgent life-saving neurosurgery. She heard that she could get in right away if she went across the border and paid privately. She asked her (world-famous) surgeon about it, and the surgeon said that the US MRI machines in question were not good enough for what he needed, anyway - it would just be a waste of money. (Not that there aren't US machines of the right kind, but they are backed up too.) My relative soon was bumped up the queue (managed according to urgency of need) and everything went fine. That is the only case I know of where waiting really arose at all, and in terms of quality of care, every experience I know of that family and friends have had in Canada has been excellent. In the US, on the other hand, our experience has been more mixed. We've often met with specialists who seemed a little wanting in common sense. We've had some strange misdiagnoses and stupid (sometimes serious) errors (again at large and sometimes renowned facilities). Above all, some of us have struggled with US insurance companies that refused to pay for essential treatment, or refused coverage altogether owing to "pre-existing conditions".

    On the basis of a lot of experience in both systems, I would far prefer to be in Canada when next a serious medical need arises. It's true that there are things available in the States that aren't available here. It's a bigger population, and yes, there is a lot of private money driving some specialized kinds of institutions. Many of them seem to me to me to be mostly about making money or building somebody's reputation. But some are great no doubt. I'm sure some situation could arise that would drive me to seek treatment in the States. But it won't be because of general inferiority of the Canadian system, it would be because I need a procedure that only one person can do well.

    I am very dubious about the story your acquaintance tells. I have literally not heard of any experience even a little bit like it. Not therefore impossible, of course, but there is a certain scam-like sound to it.

    One thing that is true is that there is currently a shortage of GPs in many places in Canada, but we hear that this should change as the new generation of physicians recently and soon completing their training take up practices.

    Americans have no idea how obnoxious it seems to Canadians when we have to navigate the baroque American system, where the first stop at any hospital is a long discussion with someone whose job is to figure out and record your insurance status, and where even with good insurance you often can only go to certain "preferred providers" if you don't want to pay a hefty premium. I can go to any hospital or doctor, any fancy specialist in the country, and show them my card, and that's it. No complicated forms, no claims, no bills.  

    Most important, I trust Canadian doctors and hospitals much more. The system is far from perfect, of course, but it is much less distorted by profit at every level than the US system. When I went to my (excellent) GP in the States, I almost always used to encounter a drug company rep in the waiting room. If a surgeon recommended a procedure, or a psychiatrist recommended a medication, I always wondered who stood to make money from it. When the insurance company told one family member that his condition was regarded as untreatable, I wondered whether they really meant he'd be cheaper dead. Here those doubts are much less significant.

    Of course people here in Canada complain about health care. Who doesn't? Of course the wealthiest can get lots of good care here and then pay to get extra goodies (or extra cosseting) across the border, and they like that. But if you can find any significant number of people who are not extremely rich, who have really lived in both systems (not just tapped one system as a visitor) and in comparable ways (i.e. in similar-sized cities) and who prefer the US system, I will be amazed.

    •  I guess the viewpoint of a wealthy Canadian is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, Calamity Jean

      different to that of a middle class Canadian. Perhaps that should have been my argument, try to make him reflect if a middle class Canadian would not perhaps prefer the Canadian system even if he has to wait a bit longer for treatment sometimes but save those $20K for college funds or retirement.

      Once you vote smart, you never go back. Four more years!

      by healthy on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:22:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not the wealthy Canadians I know (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jdld, kyril, splashy, gustynpip

        Canadians recognize that health is not a commodity. We see the vulnerability of our American friends and family. We are staggered by the fights people have with their insurers.

        We can have serious health issues without it  becoming a disaster for the family's financial viability. We just get treated.

        Skin cancer surgery is pretty low priority. My partner had to wait a couple of months for a plastic surgeon who was expert at facial work to be available. But it takes 30 years for basal cell carcinoma to kill you.

        I have never met a Canadian who wanted US style health care. Not one.

  •  One reason for waiting for specialists there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    My understanding is that the disparity in income between specialists and primary care physisicans is much greater here and so more medical students here have an incentive to become specialists. This leads to fewer primary care physcians here and fewer specialists there.  It's easy to see a primary person there, but there may be waits for specialists if it isn't a dire emergency.

    Also, conservative PMs have cut the health care budget in Canada and Canada is not one of the best single payer systems out there.

    •  Very good point. Specialists are overpaid here but (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, Calamity Jean, gustynpip

      there are more of them because doctors want to make that extra $$$. And those budget cuts by the conservative PM, it sounds just like the Republican house members blocking Obama's initiatives, and then the end result is that some people think Obama was ineffective when it was really the Republicans who are to blame.

      Once you vote smart, you never go back. Four more years!

      by healthy on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:25:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hate to defend Stephen Harper (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        but the Conservatives have not cut health care funding.  They have stayed with the funding formula that was agreed to years ago and which comes up for renewal in 2013.  What he did do, and I disagree with this competely, is made the 2012 allocation with no strings attached.  In other words, he backed out of federal leadership on healthcare which is not what we need from Ottawa.

      •  I really don't think it's about the money... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        healthy

        My father was a doctor.  While some may say that it makes me biased, at least I've seen the inside of the profession.  

        I know the years of education my father put in, and the hours that he worked.  Doctors are the most regulated profession in Canada; I think too much so.

        What other group has their billing schedule dictated to them; has constant government oversight of their practice; has their hours capped; has their gross billings published in the paper?

        You don't get rich just by being a great doctor.  There aren't the same opportunities in medicine to make the same kind of big money other professions make.

        If money were really the driving factor, you'd see a glut of dentists, orthodontists and even veterinarians.  They are the closest thing in Canada to the American system - they are largely unregulated and paid for directly and with private insurance support.

    •  A big, sometimes very sparsely populated country.. (0+ / 0-)

      ...has extra expenses too.

      If a Haida woman out in Haida Gwaii aka Queen Charlotte Islands has an unusually difficult delivery, it can cost a huge sum to medivac her down to a Vancouver hospital.

      Do I mind it being paid for? No, not at all. But things like that do drive the cost up.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:21:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This doesn't happen here? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, gustynpip

    My dad had a bleeding toe for years that the doctors (in Oklahoma) shrugged off.   He had an accident when we moved to Oregon and happened to mention it to the ER doctor, it turned out to be cancer and a major operation because it had not been treated.

    This stuff happens.   People go to the doctor with spots on their skin all of the time.   Usually it is nothing.

  •  He has money; he can get whatever he wants; (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    healthy, kyril

    The rest of us not not so much.

    (R's) take those tired memes and shove 'em, Denise Velez Oliver, 11/7/2012.

    by a2nite on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:49:09 PM PST

    •  I had two surgical procedures done (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, gustynpip

      on my knee 6 weeks ago in Canada (including a titanium knee replacement) and I'm happy.

      Not broke from it either.

      The conservative's story in the diary seems a bit odd; have had many friends and family with various forms of cancer and they tend to get treated right away.

      It's folks like me that may have to wait a while because our medical issues aren't life threatening.

  •  I'd like to know where in the US you get this fast (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nailbanger, jdld, kyril, gustynpip

    service that I always hear about.    It is certainly not true for my friends, who have to wait months for hip and knee operations.   Is there a place where you can drop in and get treated immediately?   It would be really nice for those of us who have an hour ferry ride to get to the mainland...

  •  The bottom line is this: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, sagesource

    Canada's system (or more accurately, the provincial systems in Canada) are chronically underfunded, largely because of nonstop efforts by conservatives to undermine the system so that it fails.

    If Canadians spent as large a share of GDP, nevermind the same actual per capita dollars, as Americans spend on healthcare, the two systems wouldn't even be worth comparing.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:00:15 PM PST

  •  Counter his story with Michael Douglas's... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    healthy, kyril, Sue B, gustynpip

    Michael Douglas can afford the best the US system has to offer.  His cancer was missed by several doctors in the US, and eventually found when he visited a doctor in Montreal.  Neither story is representative of the respective systems in Canada and the US.

    The problem is that, as someone up-thread pointed out, access to services in Canada is determined largely by need, not net worth.  That tends to annoy the financial elite, since they're accustomed to being pampered and treated like VIPs.  When you're used to plutocracy, being confronted with democracy must be awful.

    The downside of this approach is that for "non-urgent" procedures, there can be significant waiting periods.  It's a sometimes annoying reality.

    On the flip side, I went through cancer treatment a few years ago.  I was able to get quick treatment, including surgery by an amazing surgeon and cutting-edge radiation therapy.  I followed a blog written by an American man who had just gone through a similar process in the US.  Luckily he had good insurance coverage (Blue Cross), but he went through all his paperwork and concluded that it ended up costing close to $300K.

    I'm thankful that in Canada I have health care coverage through my employer and that I never had to worry about paying for my treatment.  I could focus on my recovery, and not have the stress and distraction of worrying about how to cover medical bills.  I'm thankful that priority of treatment in Canada is based on medical decisions, not financial ones.

    The Canadian system isn't perfect, and we would all like to improve it.  But I'm certain that some of the Canadian respondents who said they weren't "very satisfied" have no idea how much worse things could be.

  •  Easy. Ask your Republican friends to find a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    healthy, Claudius Bombarnac

    single Canadian willing to trade their health care system for ours.

  •  Well, the Candians get a subsidy from the US (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    taxpayers, who must pay premium for medicines that are still protected under patent.

    The Canadian health system gets to negotiate cheaper prices from Pharma, but the US government does not get to negotiate cheaper prices.

    Innovation in the US subsidizes many cheaper meds around the world.

    •  BullHocky! US Pharma spends more on marketing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener

      and advertising than for research. You are using a rightwing talking point implying the US subsidizes world drug pricing.

      "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, U.S. Attorney General.

      by Mr SeeMore on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:49:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sure we scare big Pharma.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener

      The reality is that drug prices are higher in the US because of the magical free market.  Pharma charges as much as people will pay.

      My understanding is that many US drug companies sell the same drugs to Canada at a lower cost because they use it to dump excess supply.  Given that our population is about 11% of the US population, I really don't think that we have any leverage over the big drug companies when it applies to pricing.  

      •  I doubt they use it to dump excess supply (0+ / 0-)

        But it is true that the size of the market and the pricing structure, means that many drug manufacturers all over the world want to launch in the US first.  It's the highest profit margin they will ever see, AND protection from competition by counterfeits is also better than anywhere else.

  •  Don't Be Scared Of Medicare (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alisonk, jdld, healthy

        I  love visiting the U.S. but I always breathe a sigh of relief when I come back to Canada where, if you are sick, you will get care, and your life savings will not be wiped out by a catastrophic illness...

        Every system has its flaws, but by and large  our Medicare works...

       We could use more specialists, but the doctor lobby and governments refuse to train more... (why is Cuba able to export thousands of doctors, but rich countries have a shortage?)

       I hope Americans opt for single payer  and full public option eventually, and jettison the blood-sucking insurance companies...

       Obamacare is not perfect, but it's a start.....

       Good luck to my American Brother and Sister Kossacks in the ongoing fight for a more progressive and just society...

  •  Here's my story FWIW (10+ / 0-)

    I had a baby recently.  

    OBGYN, pre-natal testing and visits, numerous ultra-sounds: free.

    Induced labour, epidural, 30 hours in the birthing room, transferred to surgery for c-section, 6 days in hospital.  The invoice I paid?  $236 dollars because I opted for a private room.

    I see the pediatrician as often as I want.  Walk-in is available in the morning, and for check-ups I get an appointment within about 2 weeks.  All free. Vaccines?  Flu shot?  Free.

    My husband lost his main contract and source of revenue the day our son was born.  In the US, we would have had to go bankrupt.

    That's health-care in the civilized parts of the world.  And you can just try to pry it from my healthy, non-bankrupt hands.  

    When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die. - Linkin Park

    by mystery2me on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:11:23 PM PST

  •  How many Canadians does he know who have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nailbanger, kyril, raster44

    declared bankruptcy because of medical bills?  

    I can name 6 people in my life that have had to do that.  They aren't Canadians.  

    When the going gets rough, the average go conservative. --Henry Rollins

    by Beelzebud on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:19:51 PM PST

  •  Tell him that, if we use his logic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sagesource, Minnesota Deb

    we should abandon capitalism.  

    After all, Enron, Worldcom and many other businesses have collapsed due to fraud.  That's proof it just doesn't work, right?

    "Why do we see the same old Republicans all over the news all the time when they were kicked out for screwing everything up?" - socratic's grandma

    by Michael James on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 11:15:23 PM PST

  •  I am a Canadian. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Claudius Bombarnac, jdld, kyril, raster44

    I can't speak to the gentleman's complaint because I don't know the details, but I can say that the Canadian Healthcare system has served me and my family very well.  

    I had a tumour in my brain in 2000 and it was zapped with radiation and it shrank down to 1/10 of its original size.  Now as followup I have a MRI scan every 6 to 8 months to make sure it is not growing.  I am very impressed with the treatment I have had, and it did not cost me a cent out of pocket.  

    Our healthcare premiums are about $1600 a year for our family of five.  And yes, I can pick my own doctor.

    No system is perfect, but we pay about 60% less per capita for our system and everyone is covered.  Canadians live almost 2 years longer on average than people in the United States.   Nobody goes broke or loses their house because of medical costs.  

    The lines for elective surgery are too long, but anybody with a severe illness or a life threatening condition will be  taken care of immediately.  

    We had a friend of my daughter visit us last year.  He arrived with a severe fever.  We called our doctor and he was receiving treatment within thirty minutes.  He was from another province, but there were no questions asked, they just got the young man the proper treatment.  I was impressed.

    God is innocent: Noah built on a flood plain.

    by alphorn on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 11:20:11 PM PST

  •  The data are crystal clear on this subject: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raster44, Minnesota Deb

    Canada spends substantially less on health care per capita, and they get substantially better outcomes. Better infant mortality, better life expectancy.

    And for God's sake, no one in Canada dies because they can't afford to see a doctor. And no one is bankrupted just because they or their child get sick.

    The U.S. system by contrast is a moral atrocity that currently serves mostly to enrich BigPharma and GE Medical Imaging.

  •  You take the word of a Canadian? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexMex

    The same subspecies that gave us Celine Dion . . . .    I'm beginning to see what the problem is here.

  •  No. 1, your Canadian buddy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen, healthy, Minnesota Deb

    probably dropped 20 grand to have a simple, noncancerous mole removed. In other words, I bet he got scammed. Hey, there's the free market for you. Some people are winners, some are losers.

    No. 2, Obamacare is nothing like the Canadian healthcare system, because the Canadian system is single payer. So he's saying apples suck because oranges do.

  •  it's true that no healthcare system is perfect & (0+ / 0-)

    anything can be made to fail, but i was wondering, doesn't cuba have one of the best systems in the world, in terms of efficiency?

    maybe some kossacks could provide more info/details about this . . . ?

  •  Ridiculous. Ask him what % he pays for employee (0+ / 0-)

    health insurance coverage?  A private employer in the US has to add private health insurance premiums to his or her cost of doing business.   The Canadian gets to keep that cost and reinvest it or call it profit or use it to pay for his own personal $20K private US medical treatment.  He is part of the Canadian 47% free loaders, he just doesn't realize it.

    Single payer is an economic leveler of the international playing field.  Canadian businesses don't have to pay for it themselves, so they have an advantage over US business who do.  This is part of what the issues were with the US Auto industry.  We don't have single payer, our international competitors do.  

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:18:17 AM PST

  •  Kaiser Family Foundation is a good (0+ / 0-)

    source in general for research into healthcare

    http://www.kff.org/...

  •  fwiw: explanation of different systems (0+ / 0-)
  •  The Liberal Party of Canada also cut health care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    healthy

    From http://rabble.ca/... written by well known and respect Canadian Left Wing author, journalist, speaker and think, Murray Dobbin:

    "Reality check: Paul Martin cut federal health (and other) transfers by 40 per cent — outdoing the hated Brian Mulroney (25 per cent). He eliminated legislation that ensured provinces spent those dollars on health care and then refused to enforce the Canada Health Act's banning of private care"

    The Canadian Liberal Party has a record that is just as bad if not worse when it comes to cutting Canadian Health Care. It is a myth that only Conservative parties cut taxes in Canada. The Canadian Liberal Party runs left and governs right. Martin was Finance Minister and then PM and hacked and slash the Social Safety net.

    The only parties that have opposed this agenda have always been the NDP and Bloc Quebecois. As a long time New Democrat, and a committed Socialist, I am getting really tired of hearing how only Canadian Conservative parties cut health care. The record and references such as above, show this not to be the case.

    The Canadian Liberal Party is a lot like your Democrats, a party that has to be dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing. It is true Pearson brought in Health Care, but only because the CCF was advocating it; remember, it was the great Tommy Douglas that first brought in Health Care in Canada. He was a CCFer, NOT a Canadian Liberal Party of Canada member.

    Really, start getting this right. I am getting so tired of this. I am glad you write about us in Canada, but start being accurate about which is the real left wing progressive party in Canada. It is the New Democratic Party, NOT, the Liberal Party of Canada.

    •  Quite right. (0+ / 0-)

      The Liberals aren't liberal.
      They are corporate tools.

      •  Yes they are (0+ / 0-)

        But I read here on Daily Kos regularly how the Conservatives are Canada's only "Conservative" party. That drives me crazy. That is why I posted. Thanks for your reply. I hope there are Americans reading this post today. It is time for them to understand supporting the  Liberals in Canada is not the same as supporting progressives. Heaven help us if Justin Trudeau is able to dupe us again.

  •  Have to echo others here and say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    healthy

    that the guy in question may have had a cancer but almost certainly didn't have a malignancy. He probably wouldn't have been talking to you if he had a melanoma. At the worst, he might have have had a basal cell carcinoma that is annoying but is not life-threatening. Liquid nitrogen on a q-tip or a freezing spray is usually enough. But his number one problem may be lying. I find that lying is one of the major sources of problems with healthcare.

    However, one issue with national healthcare systems is rationing. But all healthcare systems ration care. The real question is whether we want rational rationing or irrational rationing. I prefer rational rationing.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:55:45 AM PST

    •  We don't ration in Canada (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      healthy

      We triage. Everyone in Canada eventually gets any care they need. We just don't put everyone at the head of the line. I really think that we as progressives need to stop using this meme and call it what it is. It is care based on need, not on want, desire, or other avarice.

      •  Right. Rational rationing. (0+ / 0-)

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:39:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  No Canadian politician dares scrap Cdn universal (0+ / 0-)

    It is late -- will write detailed response tomorrow... but the reality is that Canadians mutter a bit but treasure their government managed, choose-your-own-doctor universal health insurance program.

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