Health Care Reform: Canada rejoices for y'all!

I've been watching some of the American news coverage of the health care debate with great interest. In fact, i imagine most Canadians have been taking a special interest in the debate. Universal health care is one of the cornerstones of our way of life, and even though the system has it's challenges, a recent survey showed that 90% of Canadians support universal health care and think Obama is on the right track. I can tell you that number reflect public sentiment at the street level.

Why is this? I mean, if you listen to the right-wing fundie pundits (fundits?) talk on Fox, you'd get the impression that Canadians are waiting in massive line-ups for basic services, and this is simply not the case. As with any western health care system, there are going to be a few people that have to wait for a few weeks for new livers. This isn't a fault of the system, it's just that we cant yet grow livers on a whim! ... yet :) Also, if I do need a new liver I may have to wait for a few weeks, but at the end of the day i pay exactly $0. Broken arm? 0$ Double bypass surgery? 0$ The peace of mind in knowing you can be fixed up for free? Priceless (sorry, i had too ;) I know many people personally that are still with us and many others that were able to die painlessly and with dignity because of a public healthcare.

90% of Canadians are very excited for the steps your government has made! Free public healthcare is a human right that we hold very dear, and we've been waiting for years for our American friends and family and their children to be treated like human beings.

Views: 40

Comment by B. on March 25, 2010 at 10:03pm
Yay! I'm so proud of & happy with the Canadian system! It's been great to me my whole life =)
Comment by Aric on March 26, 2010 at 3:14am
If Canada weren't so cold I'd relocate (No, I don't think Canada is frozen and covered in snow year round like a lot of Americans but it is colder than I like).
Comment by Marc Baskin on March 26, 2010 at 8:30am
We'd be glad to have you!

Point of interest, here in Calgary we get Chinooks during the winter months. What that means is that during the winter we get spring/summer like weather in intervals. In fact over that past few years our weather has been quite mild over the winter in comparison to some of the crazy storms I've seen the US have on the news!

Alright I'll stop the sales pitch now :)
Comment by B. on March 26, 2010 at 10:00am
Marc! You live in Calgary -- I'm in Edmonton =)

Aric, Canada IS cold. I would love to live somewhere more temperate.. like +15C year-round would be awesome. Though it's really only January that's miserable, the summers are quite beautiful. And not to be so typically Canadian but, you get used to it ;)
It depends where you live also. I know many coastal or more southern Canadian cities are much more forgiving than my own..
Comment by Marc Baskin on March 26, 2010 at 10:26am
Your an ... Edmontonian?! Friends OFF! ;)

Yeah I used to live in Leduc and the winter was brutal. Whenever I'm up your way in the dead of a January freeze I always think" now these guys are truly Canadian :)
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on March 26, 2010 at 2:36pm
One of my friends got denied entry into Canada about six months ago because the boarder patrol officer said he was just going there to steal Canadian health care.
I couldn't make this up if I tried.
The guy was going to see his girlfriend. He had a return ticket and everything. They kept him out for three days, until she crossed into the U.S and entered with him.
Comment by B. on March 26, 2010 at 8:55pm
You actually can't see a Canadian physician without a health card, so there's no way for your friend to "steal" healthcare. I think he's lying.. unless they got a really ignorant border guard, but pretty much every Canadian knows they have to provide their healthcare number to get service..

Yeah, nvm, most definitely lying.
Comment by Marc Baskin on March 27, 2010 at 11:49am
When GWB was pres a lot of my friends and family were discussing moving to Norway or New Zealand!
Comment by Marc Baskin on March 27, 2010 at 11:49am
I think Obama is wise to make baby steps here .. not only would an immediate switch to universal free health care destroy the economy, but the opposition would probably become even more violent than they've been so far. Slow and steady is the proper thing.

A note about socialism. I think Canadians (and most of western Europe) would agree with me that a democracy works best with a healthy balance of socialism and capitalism. We have a free market economy here, but we also respect individual rights and value taking care of each other. Businesses are free to grow, develop and exploit but not at the expense of the well-being of the people.

Is that the difference between us then? We've embraced socialism to some extent, while the US seems to have an unfounded and unrealistic fear of it (I'm talking in generalities here of course). Maybe this fear stems from the media branding of socialism as an equivalent to communism and the WW1 "Red = Dead" stigma ?

If left unchecked Socialism has the potential to be wasteful and harmful, but so does any social ideology. We've seen the negative effects of Capitalism run amok from the wastelands of China's countryside to the heavily debated effects of global warming.
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on March 27, 2010 at 1:20pm
You must not travel outside the U.S very often.
Either that or you've always had great experiences with immigration/customs/border patrol.
I'm a little offended that you'd immediately accuse someone you've never met of lying.

While this story is only third hand to you and therefore shouldn't carry the greatest credibility, the potential for officers to abuse their positions of power is incredibly familiar situation. I've been detained outside of countries for far, far less.

And, by the way... Americans stealing Canadian health care is actually pretty common.
I can name three people that I personally know who do it.

1) You get treatment in an emergency room. Much like the American health care system, ER staff don't tell you "suck it up and leave." They see that you are at least stabilized. If you live in town that borders Canada, it's a hell of a lot easier to drive a few more miles up the road and go to an emergency room where they HAVE to treat you and they can't ruin your credit.

2) While I know nothing about the number or card they must have to see a physician, I do know they claim an address in Canada as their residence or part time residence or something. One uses his ex-girlfriends house (with her permission.) and the other use their World of Warcraft ally's parent's house.

It actually has been going on for a LONG time.
According to the Ontario Health Minister, in a six month period from August 1992-September 1993 over 60,000 Americans used Canadian health care illegally in Ontario alone.120,000 a year in just one province.

Health care stealing DOES happen. Maybe it isn't as common there as it is in the U.S, but IF it happens at all, there is a very good chance that there was some some jerk that was working a counter out there at the same time my friend was trying to go see his girlfriend.


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