Ok, this is the piece that I MEANT to post today. Now that I have calmed down, here it is:
This was a FANTASTIC post that I read on “the other site” from a very good and smart poster called, “More Dimensions”
This is a comment about the Detroit Free Press and an article it did about Canadian health care.
More Dimensions wrote:
“Here are some things I learned.
1. Most Canadians love there health care.
2. Canada has private insurance companies for people who want to buy coverage for optional treatments.
3. No doctors work for the government.
4. The Canadian government pays US hospitals to provide treatment to Canadian citizens for all approved treatments. This lowers wait times.
5. The wait times often cited by the GOP and insurance lobby are for elective surgeries and their related procedures. Canada is working to lower wait times.
6. One doctor surveyed in Windsor indicated that his office spends only 10 minutes a day on billing and payments.
7. Average Doctor pay is equivalent to US Doctor pay.”
Unfortunately, the link to this article only got you to a short summary of the main article. Apparently, the Detroit Free Press wants you to actually subscribe to read the whole thing. I was deeply grateful to More Dimensions.
Because I’m sick of hearing and reading lies about the Canadian health care system.
I heard it from teabaggers, you see it all over the threads at “that other site.” Oh, all these Canadians are coming to the U.S. to get better health care; oh, there’s all these horrible wait times in Canada. Bunk. It’s the one thing that brings out the fou side of me … where I got my nickname Pepe for a stinker.
Here’s the truth; from someone who has many relatives and friends in Canada. I have a mother who has myriad health problems. Much of it self-inflicted, unfortunately.
She had cervical cancer about 15 years ago. From the Canadian health care system, she received excellent care. Chemo, radiation and a hysterectomy. No wait times.
She had a heart attack. Excellent care.
She is a type 2 diabetic. Excellent care.
She has COPD. She has been hospitalized numerous times with pneumonia and bronchitis. No wait times.
She also has severe arthritis. She gets good care, good meds for that.
My uncle had throat cancer. He got excellent care. No wait times.
My grandmother had a series of strokes and had dementia the last few years of her life (She lived to be 98.). Excellent care. No wait times.
My mom *did* have a couple of wait times
She had to wait about 4 weeks to have gall bladder surgery, because it was considered “non life-threatening.” I seemed to remember it was longer than that, but when I went out of my way to ask her about it this Thanksgiving, she insisted it was four weeks. Her memory isn’t that good, but it’s her gall bladder, so I’ll take her word for it.
She also had to wait a year to have cataracts surgery, because this was considered “elective.”
An important thing to remember here is everything was covered. My mum paid minimal amount out of pocket. My uncle did, too. No one went broke. No one had to declare bankruptcy. No one lost their home or life savings. And I can’t imagine what my mum would be paying in the U.S. for all of her meds. She literally takes 30 or 40 pills a day.
My mum gets tired of the cold and fog in Canada. She spends a couple of months each year in California to get out of it, and she has considered moving to California to be near three of her great-grandkids. She saw one for the first time this Thanksgiving, and the other one for only the second time. But, she can’t. Medicare wouldn’t come close to covering all of her problems and she says most insurers either won’t insure her or would charge her more than she could afford.
Now, here is what *I’ve* gone through. Many years ago, I broke a tooth. I was living in a rural area of Oregon. Through my insurance, I could only go to a “preferred provider,” which was one of two oral surgeons in my town, who were booked solid. I had to wait six months to get in, or go to an oral surgeon in Portland that would not have been covered by my insurance. So for six months, I had to live with a toothache. By the time I got in, they couldn’t save the tooth and have to pull it.
I also tore a muscle in my calf in June hiking. I woke up one morning and it was throbbing. They told me they could do surgery or we could just wait and see if the tear healed itself. Well, after fighting with my insurer, which was doing everything it could to try and screw with me, we decided to wait to see if it would heal.
Well, it didn’t. After waking up screaming (a *slight* exaggeration, but everyone in the house is tired of it, even the dog and the cat) once a week at 5 a.m. when the muscle would tweak in my sleep (I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s *excrutiating*), I went back to the orthopedist, who told me the tear not only hadn’t healed, but had grown from 5 centimetres to 7 centimetres.
So, now I have to have the surgery (arthroscopic, thankfully — a four-week rehab) later this week. I would’ve liked to have had the surgery five months ago now, but we were hoping for the best. I would’ve had the surgery months ago if the insurer hadn’t given me so much grief. Now, my doctor sent a letter to the company explaining this is the only option.
Our company is also switching to United Health Care, a company with a horrible reputation. They are the company that initially refused to cover a child because she was a few pounds underweight. Great. New dumb thing to worry about. My daughter is underweight. We try to get her to eat more, but we also make a point of it not to pester her over it because we don’t want her to develop an eating disorder.
Here’s the difference between the American and Canadian health care systems. Yes, the Canadian health care system is flawed. I am the first one to admit that. My mum did have to wait for gall bladder and cataracts surgery. It isn’t perfect. It can be improved. Canada is working on it. You will hear Canadians wank about it on occasion, but Canadians like to wank sometimes. It passes the time during the long, cold winters.
But the American health care system is exponentially beyond “flawed.” It is literally immoral. It is just flat depraved. There should be no profit in health care. America is insurance companies fighting their clients tooth and nail over claims, fighting for *their* profit margins, not for their clients, and companies dropping their coverage because they can’t afford it anymore.
Next time a teabagger starts going on about Canada, remind them no one in Canada ever loses their home or has to declare bankruptcy because a child gets leukemia or a mother gets breast cancer. Ask them if they’ve actually asked a Canadian, a real Canadian — not some woman on TV lying about having a brain tumour — if they would trade the Canadian system for an American system.