Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Gearing up

It's Canada Day tomorrow and this little town has been getting ready in full force. Flags are everywhere. I even saw one house with a huge red & white "Eh?" sign filling the picture window. We went to an annual town celebration complete with cowboy poetry, fiddling, and country music. It almost felt unreal because it was so...Western and folksy. But it was real.

In honor of Canada Day, I wanted to mention the article Debunking Canadian Health Care Myths. I've heard some people ranting and raving about how, if the US were to adopt national health care, "the country would become like the UK or even Canada!"
Myth: Canada’s government decides who gets health care and when they get it.
While HMOs and other private medical insurers in the U.S. do indeed make such decisions, the only people in Canada to do so are physicians. In Canada, the government has absolutely no say in who gets care or how they get it. Medical decisions are left entirely up to doctors, as they should be. There are no requirements for pre-authorization whatsoever. If your family doctor says you need an MRI, you get one. In the U.S., if an insurance administrator says you are not getting an MRI, you don’t get one no matter what your doctor thinks – unless, of course, you have the money to cover the cost.
Yes, such a terrible fate.

Thanks to Mom's Tinfoil Hat for the link.


  1. yes, shocking to think that triage of care and access to care is made on need alone, (and not who can afford it) isnt it? Im constantly amazed that most Americans dont seem to get this point. That universal health care IS REALLY GOOD!

  2. I've heard more comparisons to Soviet Russia than Canada. :/

  3. I also hear a lot about how people die waiting for treatment in Canada. Yeah, unlike in the U.S. where people die because they can't afford treatment at all or their insurance won't cover it. /snark

  4. I *heart* Canadian healthcare. Yes, you hear the occasional news story about people waiting for care, but NOBODY is avoiding going for treatment because they can't afford it and NOBODY is working a cruddy job just so they can keep their insurance and NOBODY goes into a lifetime of debt due to an unforeseen illness or accident. I moved here 3 years ago from the US, and I've only had great experiences.

    Happy Canada Day!

  5. I just think our government here in the US has done such a poor job running entitlement programs (I've worked in HR, and I see the people who totally work the system and live off of other people's money), I would be scared out of my mind to give them control over my health care. I think insurance companies need to be regulated, the government does not need anything else to deal with, they can't clean up the mess they've created as it is.

  6. As a Canadian in Ontario, I grew up thinking people just go to the doctor and that was that. If you had to go the hospital, you go. I didn't know that doctors had to be paid, or that hospitals made money. It wasn't until adolescence that I became aware of what OHIP (old term for Ontario Health Insurance Plan) was. It is because of this 'OHIP' that I get to have my Midwifery services for free. Not only can I have the birth experience I want, but I get it for FREEEEEEEEEEE. (sorry a scene from Bedtime Stories just came into my mind-Rob Schneider saying the Red Ferrari was FREEEEEEEEEE)

    And when my father was diagnosed with Cancer and had to undergo many treatment options, he never had to wait. We do have health clinics, but they're for people who need care outside of their doctor's office hours, instead of clogging up the emergency rooms for Strep Throat or something that just needs a prescription. And yes you have to wait in those, because they're busy. But whenever I need my Dr. he's available, and when my son needed surgery for Hypospadias, the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, took care of it with the utmost professionalism and compassion.

    The bigger hospitals, like Princess Margret in Toronto, and Sick Kids, do a lot of fund-raising and lotteries to build better facilities and services, and most people are more than happy to donate and give back, even though those services are free.

    I've often thought of moving to the US, but the health care issue quickly brings me back to loving Canada. Now if only we could get free dental insurance, that would be the ultimate health plan.


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