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Interesting Re: Canadian Health Care
Old 09-19-2007, 09:24 PM   #1
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Interesting Re: Canadian Health Care

http://tinyurl.com/2e2gxs

I think MP is member of parliament. Glad she has the means to seek treatment in the United States and hope all goes well for her.

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While it is rare for MPs to seek treatment outside Canada, MacEachern said Stronach was not lacking confidence in the system.
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:49 PM   #2
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Glad she has the means to seek treatment in the United States and hope all goes well for her.
Same here, but I hope I'll be forgiven for not buying the spin about it having nothing to do with the quality and/or availability of health services in the Canadian system. "I have full confidence in the Canadian system, but I'm choosing not to use it?"
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:45 PM   #3
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More interesting than the article were the comments, apparently from Canadians, following it. It you take the trouble to open the article, be sure to scan a few dozen of the following comments!
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Old 09-20-2007, 02:02 AM   #4
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We do not have all of the facts. Canada has a population of approx 33m people the USA has a population of almost 300M people. We have more doctors and more specialist.

I could be that she had a special situation that required someone with experience in some new or rare technique.


I cannot comment on the Canadian Health Care system, because I have not used it.

I can comment on ours. Fortunately, I have been healthy most of my life and had very rare need to use the system other than a few minor situations.

However, I entered into the system to help an aging parent. If one has real problems. Acute care in our system seems to be pretty good. Care in the Hospital seemed to be fairly good. But chronic care or issues of that nature, are not very good. The systems cracks showed. It was disappointing.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:16 AM   #5
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Oh great now the cost per "American" for medical care just went up again.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:26 AM   #6
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Canadians come over for health care, yeah...Nothing new there....Even in our system, folks with insurance pursue care that isnt covered...sometimes due to it being considered new and not proven to be effective....AND U.S. citizens go to other countries, too...

And if you are in some kind of HMO plan like I did when I was healthly and then got chronically sick a few years back, you can be pigeonholed into ineffective specialists and not get the necessary care....Fortunately, I could change my insurance and pursue necessary care....
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Old 09-22-2007, 10:32 PM   #7
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I am in a HMO and can not pick what doctors or procedures I can have. The HMO decides it for me. That is of course unless I pay for the procedure myself. Apparently she had the money to pay for the high cost of care in the US. Not many Canadians or US citizens have the money to pay for their own medical care.
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:09 AM   #8
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Belinda Stronach's family has definitely got the money for the very best care, and for the record, I don't blame her one bit.
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:29 AM   #9
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I am a Yankeedog, working in Cowtown, Alberta.

A colleague in the next cubicle, an immigrant from China, was found to have thyroid cancer. He was told that he could have his surgery in four months or so. He got on the plane and went to Tampa, FL, and had his surgery 'directly' (as we say in Da Sowf) for ~$10k CND, and happy to do so.

Some may recall that my US quack wanted me to have a colonoscopy shortly (in the next couple of weeks). As I pay into Alberta Health Care, I inquired up here about getting the test done. I was told, Sure, we will do it without cost to you; however, as this is diagnostic, and therefore speculative, you can have it done--in about 3 years. I considered that as my sawbones had in mind something closer to Friday, I came home to the Land of the Rich and the Home of the Slave and got a guided video tour of my lower intestinal tract the next week for a net out-of-pocket cost (thanks God for health insurance!) of about $1,800.

There are accounts in the local papers of people who died of cancer while waiting for a diagnostic test.

Suggesting that things could be done different in any way is political suicide here. Like proposing income tax in Texas or Washington or sales tax in Oregon. The local health care arrangement is as sacrosanct as Social Security in the lower 48. Definitely a sacred cow.

I know people who owe their life to the local health care system, so give credit where credit is due, but I think that a mix of private and public, as found in several places such as Mexico, Costa Rica, etc., would serve the wider public better.

Just my dos centavos.

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Old 09-23-2007, 12:58 AM   #10
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Suggesting that things could be done different in any way is political suicide here. Like proposing income tax in Texas or Washington or sales tax in Oregon. The local health care arrangement is as sacrosanct as Social Security in the lower 48. Definitely a sacred cow.
I'm an Albertan, and you are so right. I think that Albertan's as a whole are more open to the idea of change than most other provinces but the fact is our country leans toward socialism.

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I know people who owe their life to the local health care system, so give credit where credit is due, but I think that a mix of private and public, as found in several places such as Mexico, Costa Rica, etc., would serve the wider public better.
Right again, but most folks here conveniently forget that it ain't free health care, it just looks that way. If people here could line up their pay stubs with Americans, and see how much tax we pay, then maybe reforms like the ones you mentioned would come about, but over time we've been conditioned to pay that amount of tax without question.

Funny, but in the back of my mind I'm half expecting somebody to tell me to "move to the states if you think it's so bad here". It really is our "sacred cow".
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:09 AM   #11
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Grizz,

Just so nobody gets the wrong idea, I ain't saying that the Canadian way is wrong and the US system is right. I am not saying the opposite, either. Neither one is anywhere close to perfect. Everyone take warning!

As I travel, I find it interesting how things are done differently in different places. Sometimes I learn something useful.

Like Stronach, I have an advantage that not many have--a choice.

In Canada, I can afford health care, I just can't get it when I need it.

In the US, I can't afford it--but if I could, I could get it when I need it.

As it happens, we have health insurance in the US (for now), so I can afford it today. Not everybody does, and I won't always have it, I am sure. This weighs heavily on my planning for DW's and my future.

With the present trends in information, I assume that the different ways to manage public provision of health care for individuals will result in a great public debate about health care in the US. It has already started. Other countries may benefit from the discussion, too. We need to learn from each other's experience. (On the other hand, we never have before so isn't optimism unjustified? Time will tell. I'll be dead, so it will be up to our kids.)
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:03 AM   #12
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Just so nobody gets the wrong idea, I ain't saying that the Canadian way is wrong and the US system is right. I am not saying the opposite, either. Neither one is anywhere close to perfect.
I got you the first time around Ed, and I couldn't agree more with both posts. The advantage that Americans have is that most seem to realize (as you stated) that there is room for improvement in their system, and from what I've seen in the American media, they are willing to intelligently discuss and debate the issues and maybe do something proactive rather than living in denial like many Canadians who stubbornly hold onto the belief that our system is not in need of tweaking from time to time.

Canadian boomers are aging and need more care, the cost of everything medical is going up, and with the number of taxpayers dwindling I'm not sure where the $$ will come from.
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:09 AM   #13
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...from what I've seen in the American media, they are willing to intelligently discuss and debate the issues and maybe do something proactive rather than living in denial like many Canadians who stubbornly hold onto the belief that our system is not in need of tweaking from time to time.
Wow, if you think the politicos intelligently discuss anything things must be really bad in Canada.
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:26 PM   #14
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Wow, if you think the politicos intelligently discuss anything things must be really bad in Canada.
You have no idea.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:50 PM   #15
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There are many problems that we Americans face with health care. First and foremost, we pay a middle man for health care: that is, insurance companies. Secondly, pharmaceutical companies help drive up the cost of health insurance by overcharging for drugs and pushing prescriptions that we could do without, via TV commercials. Why do we need a middle man to decide when and if we can have surgery or diagnostic tests? Who do you think pays for these expensive commercials in the end? Insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the rising and ridiculous cost of health care in America.
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Retire Soon View Post
There are many problems that we Americans face with health care. First and foremost, we pay a middle man for health care: that is, insurance companies. Secondly, pharmaceutical companies help drive up the cost of health insurance by overcharging for drugs and pushing prescriptions that we could do without, via TV commercials. Why do we need a middle man to decide when and if we can have surgery or diagnostic tests? Who do you think pays for these expensive commercials in the end? Insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the rising and ridiculous cost of health care in America.
In Canada, there is also a middle man, the government insurance scheme. They put limits on the amount of testing a doctor can order for his patients. If you have to wait 3 years for a colonoscopy, it is because in his judgement, you are not at risk. If your regular occult swab test showed blood, you would be in next week. It is rationing basd on the judgement of your doctor rather than an insurance company claims clerk. The doctor will not admit it but we managed to get ours to tell the truth.

DW had some discomfort and so we paid for a virtual colonoscopy ($1400 in a BC private clinic). That showed some concern and so then she got a sigmoidoscopy on health insurance. Then I got a regular colonoscopy because he was compromised. And he was right. I did not need it.

OTOH I got a cataract removed while I waited in my opthamologists office after a booked checkup, and laser surgery on my right retina yesterday from my retina specialist while in for a routine 5-year checkup. (It is a long story related to family history and hockey.) No waiting, no extra charges, no co-payments or deductibles.

If I were diagnosed with cancer and had to wait for 3 months, I would be at The Mayo Clinic on the next plane. Fortunately our hospital is strongly supported by private donations and provides great service. This is not true in other jurisdictions, especially rural ones.

Neither system is perfect and they can both be improved substantially.
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:57 PM   #17
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Insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the rising and ridiculous cost of health care in America.
I don't have a clue if this is right or wrong. Has anyone seen actual studies on the rise in health care cost? It seems to me that things started going up around the adoption of Medicare. Now from an economic view point that may make since as the Federal government stepped in with virtually unlimited dollars for folks that had not health care at the time. I know my parents did not have health insurance while we were growing up, and from conversations with them health care cost was not a overwhelming concern.
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:41 PM   #18
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You must remember why Medicare came into being. It was because insurance companies would no longer cover elderly people! Those who were retiring lost coverage as soon as they left their jobs. Medicare had nothing to do with costs going up if anything it has been far better at controlling costs than private insurance.

My parents for the most part did not have medical insurance and when we kids got sick and went to the doctor they would have to negotiate with the doctor for a fee they could afford. Now I will agree that third party payers do cause an increase in costs and a lack of quality control. The medical care provider gets paid no matter how bad or good the services they provided are.

If it were not for Medicare millions of elderly people would be dieing because they did not have medical care.
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:37 PM   #19
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I know my parents did not have health insurance while we were growing up, and from conversations with them health care cost was not a overwhelming concern.
It is litigation and the cost of malpractice insurance that has driven US costs ahead of the rest of the world.
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:39 PM   #20
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If it were not for Medicare millions of elderly people would be dieing because they did not have medical care.
The continuing viability of Medicare is more important than any other initiative. The baby boomer bulge will tax it tremendously and there will be political pressure to cut back or adopt more copays and minimums.
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