The Election and Healthcare
US Pharm D posted a fairly objective overview of the candidates’ positions on healthcare. It is worth reading for those who want to know some details.

This is also a good time to print an email I received when Hillary Clinton was discussing similar programs to what Obama is now advocating.

This was sent out by a career Marine who just happens to be a Canadian. I believe his thoughts on the recent health care proposal might be of interest to some. Subject: Health Care

Hey Guys; 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 te ll 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 reimbursement

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) My mother needs an operation for a blockage in her leg but because she is a smoker they will not do it. Despite her and my father paying in to the health care system all these years. My Mom is 80 years of age. 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 figure 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 yeah 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.

Something to keep in mind before we vote.

 
 
Comments

Just want to comment that, no matter how you break it down, healthcare spending is a very small part of the Canadian Federal Budget: http://www.fin.gc.ca/taxdollar/09/mm-eng.asp

Secondly, people in Canada tend to be more satisfied with their healthcare than Americans. People on Medicare in the U.S. tend to be more satisfied than people with private health insurance.

The largest purchaser of healthcare in the U.S. is the government and the U.S. government spends more per capita than the Canadian government on healthcare.

Further, Canadians are allowed to purchase supplemental private health insurance or pay out-of-pocket for private healthcare. In Chaoulli v. Quebec, 2005 SCC 35, the Canadian Supreme Court found that a provincial statute prohibiting individuals from purchasing private insurance in the light of long wait times was unconstitutional.

The U.S. system often has similar wait times and delays in getting care and many people don't get needed care. The U.S. system actually has lower capacity to provide care than the OECD mean.

Further, no party has suggested a single-payer healthcare system. The current proposal establishes a public, government-run, medicare-like, healthcare plan to compete with private health insurance plans in an individual health insurance exchange that only allows qualified individuals to join.

Posted by: Matt | 07/31/2009 - 03:30 PM
 
 
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