In my view the biggest problem comes from big companies (mostly pharma, but also medical tech) that lobby government to jack their prices. It's a bigger problem in the U.S. than Canada but I believe part of the reason for that is the lack of public accountability for health care in the U.S. - being that there is no universal health care in the U.S.
I'm not saying our system is perfect - but I did clearly illustrate that your point actually underscores a bigger problem on your side of the border than ours.
All in all, countries that have socialized health care (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and even Canada) tend to spend less of their overall GDP on health care than the U.S - which has a higher GDP per capita. Furthermore, most of those socialized medicine countries actually have greater life expectancy.
All of this points to the fact that socialized health care is a good thing - although I agree that your system of government may be screwed. Perhaps you need socialized health care in order to get your senators and congressmen to stand up to corporate lobbying. Just a thought.
I have heard many times that Canada's health care system is better than ours.
Depends on what your priorities in a health care system are. I think people forget that Canada and the United States are different countries with different cultures and values, different population dynamics and different challenges. While both countries can learn from one another, in my mind our differences somewhat limit the value of direct comparison.
But then, I've also heard of several people who have come here from Canada, because their system would have let the person die because of such long waits for critical treatments.
In my experience, these stories are often exaggerated and misrepresented, but obviously I don't check them all. I have even seen propaganda ads to this effect on American television, though this may not reflect the cases you are talking about.
There are situations where both the Canadian and American systems fail their patients where the other system would have done better. Citizens from both countries cross the border to seek treatment for varying reasons both good and bad. What does it mean? As far as I can tell, not a heck of a lot.
Yep, Kris, I completely agree. There's no way to do an apples-to-apples comparison since there are so many factors that come into play.
As for Americans going to Canada for healthcare, having glaucoma, I order my Lumigan from a Canadian pharmacy, since it is SO expensive (over $100 / month) and I can get it from there for about 1/2 the price, so I get to experience the positive side of the Canadian healthcare system. :)
I believe that "free" healthcare is extremely expensive because it's paid for via taxes and the government runs it.
On what basis? Economic research continues to find public programs like medicare cost significantly less than private health insurance. Every advanced nation on earth has a less-privatized health insurance system than the United States, but the United States pays much more for health care than any of them do.
Consider how inept the government is at running the Social Security program
Social Security has been running in the black for 30 years and banking the surplus in the Social Security trust fund. The surplus is so great that Social Security is solvent until at least 2033 and probably longer.
Let me put my money into a retirement fund for that long and I would be living the high life after retirement, not living at poverty level. This is due to nothing other than poor management.
The Great Recession, a product of Republican trickle-down economics, severely reduced the life savings and home values of many baby boomers who were approaching retirement. As a result, reliance on Social Security is growing. Imagine what would have happened to these Americans if leading Republicans like John McCain had achieved enough political power to eliminate or gamble social security funds on the stock market right before the Recession hit.
Do they not understand where the government gets its money from?
The US government makes money-- literally makes it-- on a printing press. The US has a floating currency. It's all but impossible for the US ever to run out of money.
As for the firearms issue
No argument there. The Republicans won this one hands down: the gun control lobby is a smoldering crater.
Oh, and one other thing: I think that patriotism isn't evil, brain washing. I think we should all be proud of our country. That's why I joined the Marine Corp at 17. That being said, I don't think it should be *mandatory* to force children to say the pledge of allegiance every day in school. However, I don't think it hurts anything, either. If we all had a little more pride in what this country stands for (freedom, personal liberty, land of opportunity and diversity, tolerance) I think we could be great once again. As long as we allow the government and big business to exacerbate our differences and big church to continue trying to force their superstitious nonsense down our throats, and as long as we bicker over inconsequential and unproductive issues, we will continue to allow the government to grow and take over more and more of our lives in a very negative way.
The "Knights of Columbus" take great pride in their accomplishment to get "under god" added to the pledge. Never underestimate the power of guys with silly hats who take secret oaths. In fact, does anybody know where you can pick up a pope hat? I'd like to wear one next time I go to the supermarket.
As an Australian, I don't have to take a pledge of allegiance to my country, or yours. If I did, I would be very disappointed if it involved religion, other than to specify freedom of religion.