Canadian ET'ers - is this true?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by hapaboy, Oct 19, 2007.

Is Canada's health-care system really like this? (Canadians only, please)

  1. Yes, it is exactly like this.

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  2. It is mostly like this.

    1 vote(s)
    8.3%
  3. About half of what he says is true.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. More of it is wrong than right.

    7 vote(s)
    58.3%
  5. Everything he says is incorrect.

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. 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 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 tell 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 re-imbursement.

    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) A friend needs an operation for a blockage in her leg but because she is a smoker they will not do it. Despite paying into the health care system all these years. My friend is 65 years old. 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 figger. 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 yeh 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.

    Step wisely and don't make the same mistakes we have.
     
  2. Yeah, and the average cost of health insurance employers are paying for each employee's family here in NY/NJ/CT is above $15,000 a year (plus deductibles, co-payments etc). The money is part of the employee's compensation package and could have been paid to the employee, instead it is paid to the insurance industry. This in essence is a hidden 20-25% tax on each employee in addition to the taxes he already pays. But of course if it's called "insurance premium" not tax we should all be happy about paying twice as much as Canadians are on per capita basis and still failing to cover 50 million americans (twice the population of Canada).

    And btw we can indeed do better than Canada, their health care system is hardly the best in the world, it's not even among the top ten. Yet all best (and cheapest) health care systems in the world are run by governments, they are all based on Universal coverage and single payer concept.
     
  3. The US is on the way towards a Medical Dictatorship. People seem to find that attractive for some reason.

    People won't or don't know how to take care of their health. Doctor's don't want you to be healthy = loss of income.
     
  4. Here is a detailed rebuttal of the article:

    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.

    The Tax rate in canada is graduated just like it is here,
    The top tax rate in federal income tax in Canada is actually lower than the top federal rate in the USA.

    * 15.5% on the first $37,178 of taxable income, +
    * 22% on the next $37,179 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $37,178 and $74,357), +
    * 26% on the next $46,530 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $74,357 and $120,887), +
    * 29% of taxable income over $120,887.

    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/individuals/faq/taxrates-e.html

    The Usa rate currently tops out a 35% for earners over 336k
    $0 $7,550 10% of the amount over $0
    $7,550 $30,650 $755 plus 15% of the amount over 7,550
    $30,650 $74,200 $4,220.00 plus 25% of the amount over 30,650
    $74,200 $154,800 $15,107.50 plus 28% of the amount over 74,200
    $154,800 $336,550 $37,675.50 plus 33% of the amount over 154,800
    $336,550 no limit $97,653.00 plus 35% of the amount over 336,550

    So in actuality the federal tax rate is higher here.

    As for the Premium he described I have no idea what that would be for. I have never heard anyone in Ontario paying a premium for basic care. Only time a premium is in Ontario is if you need extra coverage for something like travel or if you need prescription drugs which while less expensive than the drugs here can be a significant amount that is not covered by the ontario health insurance plan (OHIP) also dental and optical is not covered by OHIP so that is another place where additional insurance may be purchased.

    I have been informed that a $300 dollar a year, premium has been added in ontario. It was called a Premium because the government didn’t want to call it a tax. You still pay it when you file your income taxes. Most people just pay it out of their return so it doesn’t cause hard ship for anyone.

    This $300 dollar Premium is what I pay per month in the USA.

    > 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
    > tell 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.

    The longest wait for any treatment I have ever heard of in Canada is 8 weeks. There is limited health care as there is everywhere but its is distributed based on need not who can afford it. To see a specialist in Ontario it may take a week or 2 to get an appointment but, if you need surgery for something you get it as soon as reasonably possible. I have had my appendix removed, had epilepsy and have had numerous stitches and had them all looked at or tested the same day.

    I was beaten up by a bunch of thugs at a party when I was a teenager, I was taken to the emergency room examined, x-rayed and had an appointment made with my family doctor the next day, who saw me, then ordered a CT scan to be sure I wasn’t going to suffer any damage from the beating, this was all in a 48 hour period.

    There were problems with the lists many years ago but the last few governments have made the wait for health care a priority and they have been reduced in most cases to under 2 weeks for a non-life threating surgery.

    My Grandma who is 76 was in the hospital on october 3rd with a hernia, she is going for surgery on october 18th to take care of it. In her first visit she was diagnosed, and given pain medication so she would be comfortable while she waited to have her surgery. She still hosted thanksgiving dinner for 25 people last weekend so she can’t be feeling that bad to wait 15 days for the surgery.


    > 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 re-imbursement

    This is crap as well. If you see above in my experience in canada this is not the case. This is more like what the HMO’s do in this country than what happens in Canada.

    If the doctor was in it for the money he would leave Canada and move to the states to make it there. This does happen, but there are still enough doctors to serve the people in Canada and most doctors offer counseling as well as just medical care.

    After I was beaten up my doctor spoke with me for an hour trying to help me with the fears that had developed from it. This was my family doctor not a specialist.

    > 4) Many Canadians do not have a family Doctor.

    Many Americans don’t either. I have been in the states for 6 years and I have not had a family doctor. Your less likely to form a long term relationship with someone who is charging you directly. When was the last time you liked paying someone to care about you?

    > 5) Don’t require emergency treatment as you may wait
    > for hours in the emergency room waiting for treatment.

    I have waited an hour in an emergency room when I needed 2 stitches above an eye, I had my appendix out with me entering the emergency room at 7pm, confirming the diagnosis at 9pm, and in surgery having them removed at 10pm. Sure it took hours but it was about as fast as the tests
    could move and a doctor be available. The doctor was so good, I don’t even have a visible scar from the surgery.

    > 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.

    I am sorry but this has to be a lie. I broke 2 fingers with a boxers fracture when I was 12 and I had to get local freezing and the bones reset. This was done in an emergency room. I when to the doctor twice about it and my parents were charged nothing for this.

    I had an uncle that had his thumb cut off completely with power saw, not only did the doctors reattach it with no cost, he retains full use of it and still plays guitar.

    > 7) Shirley’s cousin was diagnosed with a heart
    > blockage. Put on a waiting list . Died before he
    > could get treatment.

    Only time I have ever heard of this happening is waiting for a transplant due to the difficulty getting transplantable organs.

    My Grandma’s on both sides have had heart attacks, with one having triple bypass surgery to correct the issue.
    I visited both in the hospital where, both told me how happy they are to live in Canada and not have to worry about
    loosing their nest egg because of it.

    > 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.

    This is a lie, this has never been the case. Ever. My mother who is the co-ordinator (dean) of the nursing program at Georgian college in Barrie, Ontario and former Chair of the Simcoe county district health council, was just shocked hearing that someone could even say this about the Canadian system.

    This sounds like what people in the USA have to do to insurance companies.

    > 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.

    The waiting lists in the past 5 years have shortened dramatically in all provinces.

    This site has shown a reduction of wait times from over six weeks in 2003 to just over 4 in 2006. Thats a 33% reduction. This is specifically for Radiation for Cancer.http://www.cancercare.on.ca/index_waittimesRadiation.asp

    For data on actual wait times check out this site.
    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/qual/acces/wait-attente/index_e.html
     
  5. > 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 into 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.

    I know of many older people that have had this treatment, smoker, obese or not. My 85 year old grandfather, who smokes everyday and had pneumonia this winter was not just sent home to die. He was cared for and given the best treatment and is still running around proving that not all old men need Viagra (My Grandmother divorced him in the 60’s for this)

    > 11) Forget getting a second opinion, what you see is
    > what you get.

    You want a second opinion? how about a third? When I was diagnosed with focal seizures, my family doctor sent me to a pediatrician for a second opinion and a second EEG, who then wanted to be absolutely certain that they were not cause by a brain tumor to send me to a neurologist who ordered both a CT scan and a MRI scan (which at the time there were only 4 MRI machines in Ontario) to be sure. This took place over the course of 3 weeks.

    The scans turned up negative, which then I was prescribed a medication which controlled them successfully for 5 years until I grew out of them.

    > 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 figger. Where else in
    > the world can you spend money to kill yourself but not
    > allowed to spend money to get healthy.

    In most cases there is no need to jump the queue. 90% of the Canadian population
    lives with in 100 miles of the USA border but less than a small number of rich people
    will take the risk that a market based for-profit system to increase the speed of getting the
    non-emergency care they perceive they need right now.


    > 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.

    An Immigrant must be a resident of Ontario for 6 months to receive coverage. As an Immigrant in the USA, I pay taxes, premiums and social security. Yet I don’t get to vote, and I would have a hard time getting the 5-10,000 dollars of unsecured credit if I was to ever get seriously injured or sick here, to pay the 10% cost of out of pocket maximum with the health care plan that is offered by my company. I would most likely have to sell my car therefore disabling my ability to work, which would then violate the terms of my visa which would send me back to Canada. I am going with the national USA health care policy "hope to god you don’t get sick".

    > 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.

    This is considered a prescription drug, which is not covered, this is true, but instead of having to pay for the doctor, the testing, and hospitalization the government asks you to pick up the smallest cost. Many many companies offer health plans with prescription drug coverage that would pay for this.

    Would it be good if the government paid for it all, yes, but it figures if it picks up 99% of the cost, you could come up with 1%. Unlike the 5-10% or more required by even the best plans here in the USA.

    > 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.

    Telling lies and not backing up stories with facts and external links is not the way to inform the people about the difficulties the Canadian health care faces.

    Is there problems with the Canadian health care system? Yes.

    Are they being worked on and have data to show that they have improved in the past 5 years? Yes.

    If I had to choose which health care system would be better for the USA would I pick the current one or
    the Canadian one? I would pick the Canadian one every time.
    > Step wisely and don’t make the same mistakes we have.

    Humans will always make mistakes but comparing a system thats whole goal is to make a small group of companies and people rich vs a system that tries its best to save and keep healthy as many lives as possible without bankrupting them and their families is a sorry state of affairs.

    I have moved to the USA because I like the people and the work that I do, how ever once I have my 10 years in and I have my USA citizenship, I will return to Canada and have my children and grow old there knowing that my doctor is going to be doing the best for me and not for how much it is going to cost me or my insurance company.

    In my experiences in the USA with the health system they have been positive with good doctors, nurses and others. Where the issue becomes is with the insurance companies and how my premiums have gone from $45 dollars a month in 2001 to $298.50 a month in 2007.

    I have yet to visit a doctor this year, but I pay to be safe.

    I am sorry if this seemed a bit like a rant but I am trying to show truth where there is lies,

    I do hope you forward this on to others as I think it shows a clearer picture of what is real and brings to light the distortion of the people that care for the few rather than the good of us all.

    As a final testament to the Canadian system, I still have all 4 of my Grand Parents. Which all live in their own homes, drive their own cars and the youngest one is 76, the oldest is 85. Most people in there late 20’s that I have met in the USA do not have this.

    If you are looking for more reading on this check out.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_and_American_health_care_systems_compared

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=222x26202
     
  6. The US is currently under the dictatorship of the big capitalized corporations, the medical ones in particular. I think there is currently not one law or regulation that is against their interests. I would never trust a system like that to be for the benefit of the population, neither does a majority apparently.
    When you allow capitalism to grow too strong there will follow a reaction, same with communism.

    Ursa..
     
  7. neophyte321

    neophyte321 Guest

    BEHOLD... STUPIDITY! AT LONG LAST WE MEET.
     
  8. "The US is currently under the dictatorship of the big capitalized corporations..."

    I wouldn't go as far to say that but we are getting close. I particularly get the feeling this is by design of the govt rather than what appears to be corporate mission. It is much easier to enforce govt policy vis a vis several national cos than a potpourri of small businesses.
     
  9.  
  10. People in the US have somehow gotten the idea that the role of government is to provide them things they prefer not to pay for themselves. Since nearly half the population effectively pays little or nothing in federal taxes, this is becoming an increasingly popular idea. Why pay if the government can tax some rich bastard and force him to subsidize you?

    There is a hidden cost, which is loss of freedom. A surprisingly large number of people are happy to give up their freedom if someone will take care of them. Plenty of politicians are eager to take the other side of that deal.

    Health care has become a big problem for two main reasons. One, as it has become more sophisticated, it has become exponentially more costly. It is impractical for anyone but a CEO or hedge fund king to pay for it themselves. Enter problem number two, employer-provided health care. It was originally introduced as a way around wage and price controls during WW II. Then it became tax-advantaged, as it is not part of taxable income, making a very unlevel playing field for those not receiving it. As health care costs soared, it became a heavy burden for employers, particularly those like the auto companies that faced competition from foreign companies whose governments picked up the substantial cost of employee and retiree benefits.

    Our current system is a hodgepodge of employer-paid care, privately paid insurance, government or provider- paid care for indigents and illegal immigrants, with medicare providing a huge taxpayer-paid socialized system for the elderly. The system functions pretty well for the vast majority of people, but it is frustrating and there are large cracks one can slip through, for example, if you lose your coverage and are faced with preexisting conditions being excluded by your new carrier. Insurance pricing also doesn't make a lot of sense, as it varies state by state and it is difficult for people to form national buying units to get favorable pricing.

    Most physicians are not getting rich on it, although some specialists do extremely well. When I see what my primary care doctor gets for an office visit, I feel like I should slip him an extra $20 bill when I see him.

    While a full government-paid system has its attractions, it seems to me to risk throwing out the baby with the bath water. I don't trust government with that much power. It is ironic that the same liberals who go apoplectic at the idea that government might easedrop on terrorists overseas phone calls are quite happy to see government acquire draconian power over our health care system. Do we want a government agency to be able to decide who gets the best care and who doesn't? In a lot of the world, patients' families feel obligated to bring "gifts" to the hospital for doctors and nurses, knowing their loved ones will receive substandard care otherwise. Health care workers are already almost as arrogant and unhelpful as airline flight attendants. Do we really want a system where they answer only to a government bureaucracy? Is the Department of Motor Vehicles the best model for our health care system?

    I think sweeping changes do need to be made, chiefly in the area of getting employers out of the health care insurance business. Employers don't provide your car insurance or your homeowners insurance. Why is medical care any different? Centuries of economic history teach that consumers make the best decisions, not governments. Perhaps it will be necessary to enact a mandate that everyone have health insurance, to prevent the free rider problem. Something drastic needs to be done about illegal immigrants getting free care at ERs and bankrupting hospitals and destroying the usefullness of the ER for everyone else.

    These reforms will not be simple or easy, but they are far simpler than going to a full-scale socialized medicine system. They can be made incrementally and fine-tuned. Or we can trust the people who can't build a simple border fence to reorganize our entire health care system.
     
    #10     Oct 20, 2007