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Canada's healthcare system costing too much?

Discussion in 'US Health Care Reform' started by lynn, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. lynn

    lynn Approved members

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  2. Jeff

    Jeff Founder, CWD

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  3. Hollyb

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    And yet many of us would not consider moving to a country with no health care coverage, despite the problems we are facing.
     
  4. wilf

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    Every western nation's healthcare costs are poised to soar - Canada can't escape that demographic trend, all we can do is try to wring maximum efficiencies out of the system.
     
  5. Mimi

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    Agreed. (too short)
     
  6. Brensdad

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    My sister in law just returned from a trip to Canada, where she noted that a bottle of mid-range vodka cost $30, while in the US that same bottle is $16.

    Health care is not "free."
     
  7. Mimi

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    I know our system is not "free." I also know it's not perfect. And I know that when myself or a member of my family needs medical care, we get the same level of care that everyone else gets regardless of economic status. I'm willing to pay $30 for vodka to get that.
     
  8. Sportsrep

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    The UK system is also not 'free', we pay for it out of our taxes.

    However it is 'free at the point of entry', which means that no one arriving at a hospital or a GP's surgery is asked how they are going to pay (or, indeed, whether they can pay) before medical treatment begins.

    Priority is assessed on a clinical decision rather than a financial one. Of course, the downside is that you may wait a long time for non-critical and non-urgent procedures and operations. This situation is likely to get worse in the immediate future owing to the world's financial situation.
     
  9. Brensdad

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    Fair enough. Can we then agree from this point forward that "regardless of their ability to pay" is not a viable argument since every Canadian pays through the nose from day 1 in higher taxes? Are you not simply "pre-paying" for future medical care every time you make a purchase of any kind, regardless of how much money you make, and then the care is rationed out after the bureaucracy gets its fair share?
     
  10. Sportsrep

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    I guess if you wanted to put it in the bluntest terms, you could say that (under the UK system) those with serious, complicated, and expensive, health issues benefit at the expense of those who are never ill and rarely go to the doctor.

    Is this fair? Maybe not, but then many taxes work in this way (over here at least): a proportion of your taxes go towards the upkeep of roads even if you don't drive, a proportion goes to schools even if you don't have kids and a proportion goes to the health service even if you're never ill.

    Governments decide the priorities for the spending of our taxes and if you don't agree with their priorities, you get to vote them out, as we have just done :)

    Of course, at the moment we can't afford anything, but that's a separate issue?
     
  11. Lisa P.

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    I don't think there is a country on earth that has no health care coverage. It's just that some don't have government payment or supply of that health care coverage universally.

    My country has health care coverage for every citizen. Some have health care coverage from insurance paid for by businesses, some have health care coverage from insurance paid for by individuals, and some have health care coverage from government programs.

    Some, who are not below the poverty level but do not have insurance, have health care coverage either through paying directly for their medical care costs or by receiving those services and costs and then having a debt owed to the doctors and hospitals that provide them. In the end, they can have payment taken by the law from their paychecks to pay back that debt, and many find this so burdensome that they have to declare bankruptcy. By declaring bankruptcy, they become much less eligible for loans like credit cards and mortgages. They still are able to receive medical care on a "tab". If they have a lot of assets, e.g. if they have half a million in the bank, they cannot take bankruptcy. They have to pay for the services they received, or have that debt perpetually on their record.

    There is no debtors prison in the U.S., as per the Constitution, so a millionaire could go to the ER of their county hospital every day for their entire lives for a headache and the doctor would have to see them, treat them if necessary, and bill them, and if they never paid the bill they would still never go to jail for it. If the law could find a way to tap their assets to pay the bill, it would, but if it can't find a way, the hospital would just have to suck it up.

    It's not easy, and not perfect. But it's not the same as no coverage. Sometimes I think folks in Canada or other nations get the impression that Americans of middle income or who are poor do not have access to medical care. They do. :)
     
  12. Sportsrep

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    Very interesting, Lisa, thanks for that.

    Equally, I think some people think that patients are dying all over the UK for lack of hospital treatment. In fact, our emergency care is fantastic, it's the elective procedures - minor ops, scans, referrals to physios etc - which you might wait a long (long) time for.

    I confess to finding it ironic that at a time when your President is looking at our system, our Prime Minister is looking at yours, both trying to see if there's a better - and ideally cheaper - way forward.
     
  13. Lisa P.

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    There is -- a much better system, that both countries had before we decided to turn it all over to this modern one we have, a two-sided coin that we flip back and forth and should just toss away.
     
  14. Mfry

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    I have to agree with you, people think that in Canada, we wait forever for surgeries and such, if they are elective - you may wait, or have to go a little further than you want to get it (my friend just had to drive 3 hours to another city to have elective surgery on her knee to get operating room time), but if it's life threatening, you are seen right away. Case in point - my uncle was just diagnosed with cancer and was in surgery 8 days later, no waiting, just done.

    I don't think there is a perfect system anywhere, every system has it's issues, but I can tell you I wouldn't trade mine for anything.

     
  15. MommyBusyBee

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    Canada's health care may cost quite a bit in the long run, I gotta say, there are a LOT of healthy people living in Canada. My friend Jamie, who lives in Ottawa, loves their health care system. Upon visiting my place, she came down with bronchitis (It was Winter) and was utterly shocked at how much we were paying out of pocket for check ups and medication.

    To be quite frank, I wouldn't mind paying taxes on something that will ultimately help everyone. People have often called me crazy for that, but I'm perfectly ok with it.
     

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