.... I was kicked out of a public forum last November after being a member for about 5 years. I was kicked out for totally ridiculous reasons (seriously, I am not fibbing and hiding that I was a tyrant or anything lol).I will admit to doing something totally irrational AFTER I got banned, but hey, I figured I had nothing to lose lol. I got kicked out, so I retaliated. Big whoop.But I also admit I still go to read the forum from time to time because I met a lot of people in there and liked talking to them, so I check to see what they have been up to. Today I am torn - not sure if I am glad I am banned, or if I wish I was still a member. They have been discussing the US Health Care bill for example, but as usually happens, references to the Canadian system pop up from time to time and there are only a couple left in that forum and they don't often get entangled in political discussions.... so I do wish I could pop in there just once and post something lol. But anyway, since it is a totally public forum and anyone can read the posts without signing in, and they can be found with google search, etc, I know I am able to copy/paste some of the remarks here. I will get this off my chest one way or another, it's just too bad the authors won't see it!
Anyway two particular segments caught my eye (and this guy used to read my blog so who knows, maybe he will stumble across this one day lol)....
1- I agree personal responsibility has gone down the tube but you saying health care is so personal is specifically the very reason I would argue for a government run health care. Health care deals with peoples lives. Would you really want to put your life in the hands of companies who are looking to make a profit? Or would you rather put it in the hands of government, the entity whos job it is to protect the life of its citizens. There are many people in the U.S. who got screwed by giving their life into the hands of profiting insurance companies.
My response would be "Would you rather put it in the hands of bureaucrats sitting behind a desk with a total amount of money they are allowed to spend this year, and deciding what services (surgeries, etc) will be done, by whom, how many in each region, and how many to carry-over to next year PURELY BASED ON dollar amount?". Because that's what happens up here! If it's not classed an emergency (ie heart attack), you could very well find yourself bumped to the next year because the alotted number of spots for glaucoma surgery, etc is already filled up. Someone else decides that. So why is it any better to have your life in the hands of a government body compared to an insurance company. One is making money, one is 'not', but they are both making decisions about YOU that are based on MONEY. One could also argue that because an insurance company relies on profits, they would not want all the BAD PRESS that could come from letting a whole bunch of people die just to save a few bucks. They could be totally out of business and lose all their precious profits in no time - so.... what does the govt lose? Votes? The next govt (up here) carries on the same system with little changes unless it's chopping even more services. So really, why is one better than the other? It seems to me they both suck! It's other people making a decision about your body, your life, your health and you are a sitting duck. Sorry - neither option sounds that great to me! Last time I checked, this was my body!
2 - As for your brother and not being my responsibility, you're right, his health shouldn't be my responsibility. But when you look at the larger picture, his irresponsibility to get insurance can cost me dearly. If he ever has to go to the ER and he cannot pay the bill, the bill will go to the government and it will jack up my taxes. It is in my economic interest he have insurance. Thats actually one of the main reasons economists target as to how government is losing so much money without a public option. guess where all the people without insurance go? Yep, the ER and then they pass all the bills onto us.
Okay well why up here do we have massive long lineups at ERs as well? It costs more to pay for a patient who shows up at urgent care or ER instead of going to a walkin or their family doc up here as well. It also uses up money that is supposed to be allotted to the Emergency Funds (for REAL emergencies ie heart attacks as previously mentioned). But SO many people do not even have family doctors, because the govt decides how many of them we are allowed to have in each region as well and how many patients they can cap at, patients have no choice but to show up at ER to get checked out. Or they try to go to walkin and find out that so many others are already there, walkin is officially closed (not accepting more patients) only 10 mins into it's 2-4 hour opening time. No that doesn't happen every day, but I see it all too often here in town. So people end up at ER instead. That costs us more too.
AND there is also the added bonus that because we can all go to the doc, walkin, or ER for any ailment whatsoever and never receive a bill (providing we have registered with our provincial care, that is), people will sit at ER to have a mild cough or a sliver checked out. THAT costs you me and every other tax payer (and our future tax payers who are just children today) more money than it's worth. So I'm sorry, but having a govt option does not magically dismiss the costs to the taxpayer for someone showing up without insurance - it in fact invites even more people to it, and with funding cuts left and right due in part to the rising cost of health care, fewer people have a family doc and no choice but to utilize the more expensive ER services.
I stood up against the wall of my city's ER a few years ago, while in EXCRUCIATING PAIN, and had to wait while everyone else in there looked perfectly fine. No one was bleeding, coughing, looking like death, etc. Meanwhile I had to keep going to throw up in the bathroom because the pain was just so intense my body could not handle it. The people in there were staring at me like I was bringing the plague to them or something -- I managed to get triaged and get in 2 more people later so my wait was not THAT long (seemed like forever but might have been 15-20 mins), but I could not help but wonder why those other people were in there. Emergency is supposed to be for emergencies, is it not? Sick kids I understand because they are too little to explain what they feel like and it's best to get them checked fast - but adults? So I started paying more attention that day and realized a heck of a lot of these people do not have a doctor to turn to, and the rest don't care what place they go to because they don't think they are paying for it. Either way - it's a bad scene.
So please explain to me again why it's 'better' to have govt run these options? Insurance companies can be a royal pain in the butt, however in the US the competition is stale because people cannot take their insurance from workplace to workplace, or from state to state. If you have a pre-existing condition that is currently covered by your insurance because you had it for ages before getting sick, but then you move to a new job or another state, you lose it and cannot get new insurance based on your condition. THAT is wrong and that sucks. But those things could have been reformed without adding all this other muckety muck to the bill, could it not? Why not try that for a few years and see how it pans out?
There is not going to be an easy answer but I guess I am tired of so many being blind to what is going on, and frustrated with some Americans thinking everything up here is rosy and those who are complaining are just grumpy old farts who just want to stir the pot. I also get frustrated with comments like this by the same author as quoted above: Take your pick, though just because theres a government run health care doesn't exclude the private industry. If you have money, just go to the private industry. [pssst WHAT private industry? In canada there is very very very little choice in private care for basic health, and in the US - watch out, because it has been recorded MULTIPLE times with video and audio, of various democrats saying they are 'hopeful that this will KILL private insurance'. Go look it up - you WILL find it easily. So if you have money - where are you going to go next? The Caymen Islands I guess].
It frustrates me because he seems to be forgetting that we pay higher taxes (not just on income, but on gas, products, services, etc) so even if we live close to the US border and could drive there for care instead, we don't have the money left over to pay full cost private care. It has been widely reported lately that on avg, Canadian families in the Middle Income bracket pay about 45% of their income in various taxes (don't forget taxes embedded in our products prices due to taxes on industry, transportation of goods, etc). So we are supposed to pay all that, then use what 55% we have left on food, shelter, clothing, and private health care? It's a double-edged sword up here, just like the US says about it's system.