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Thread: Questions for our Canadian RTF'ers on Health Care

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ron in Portland's Avatar
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    Default Questions for our Canadian RTF'ers on Health Care

    Okay, I didn't want to hijack the thread started by Signgirl (which I felt had some very clear and insightful comments from her) so I'm starting a new one. She raised some very interesting points (that seemed to get buried by everyone's debate over who put us in the mess we're in). I also agree with what she said about the people that are commenting on this site. Your minds are pretty well made up and you're not going to convince many people to see the other side clearly.

    That said, I would like to hear what Canadians think about their health care system, and why. With a starting point of Signgirls comments:

    "...a National Healthcare system on the verge of bankruptcy where 12 hour Emergency room waits aren't abnormal and 18 month waits for scarce Medical Specialists aren't either.
    A huge percentage of Canadians do not have a family Physician and many rural areas have no M.D.s. At least 4 small Community hospitals in my area have been legislated to close their E.R.s and emergencies are being sent up to 40 miles away."

    Is this her perception only? What is the general opinion, in Canada, of your Health Care system? (since I have little doubt confidence that our Government will be able to create anything other than a system that will grow exponentially large while being ineffectual at the same time). What are your personal experiences with the system? Are some areas of the country better than others?

    Your thoughts?
    Ron
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    Senior Member zeus3925's Avatar
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    It seems like there is a temptation to cite Canada's or Britain's experience in the health care debate. The jist of it is that any reform here is going to have rationing just like you have in Canada and Britain.

    Britain addressed the rationing several years ago. It is no longer an issue there. There are other health care systems out there that work better than the one we have--most notably France's.

    A reform of our health care system does not mean the rationing will follow as an inevitable consequence.
    Last edited by zeus3925; 11-02-2009 at 09:46 AM.
    Zeus

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    Senior Member Ron in Portland's Avatar
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    That's the thing. I ofter hear Canada cited as "see, they have it and it works" and I guess I question the veracity of that and would be interested if those in Canada feel it works.

    As for France's health care system, what makes it workable? The question I would ask (not knowing much about their system), is does it work because it's good, or does it need to be integrated with the rest of their system (which I would question).
    Ron
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    A Lab has no appreciation for the artistic value of a bonsai tree, but does appreciate their potential as chew toys.

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    Senior Member M&K's Retrievers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeus3925 View Post
    .

    The jist of it is that any reform here is going to have rationing just like you have in Canada and Britain. Britain addressed the rationing several years ago. It is no longer an issue there. There are other health care systems out there that work better than the one we have--most notably France's.



    A reform of our health care system does not mean the rationing will follow as an inevitable consequence.
    I suggest you consider rationing your savings.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by zeus3925 View Post
    It seems like there is a temption to cite Canada's or Britain's experience in the health care debate.

    The jist of it is that any reform here is going to have rationing just like you have in Canada and Britain. Britain addressed the rationing several years ago. It is no longer an issue there. There are other health care systems out there that work better than the one we have--most notably France's.

    A reform of our health care system does not mean the rationing will follow as an inevitable consequence.

    The problem is, that our government has never run a successful program that is not full of fraud, waste and did not cost more than advertised.

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    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by code3retrievers View Post
    The problem is, that our government has never run a successful program that is not full of fraud, waste and did not cost more than advertised.
    In that case, are you suggesting we scrap our government run defense system, and give it all over to private, for-profit security companies, like Blackwater, in order to reduce fraud and waste?
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

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    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Both England and Canada opted to created nationally run health systems where clinics and doctors are operated directly by the government. Based on health outcomes, both seem to do a better job at maintaining the health of their populations than we do with our health systems. However, the proposals on the table for the US are very different and are based on our own traditions of health care. Under the proposals here, what has actually been proposed is an extension of our existing health insurance system with no real change in our systems for delivering care. In our current systems we have rationing. This shows up in waiting times for certain types of specialists and it also shows up when insurance companies deny reimbursement based on a mix of technicalities and cost containment measures. More importantly, it shows up when over 30 million citizens (ignoring the non-citizens) are unable to receive care because they lack insurance. If those 30 million people receive insurance, either because of government subsidies, or because some generous person decides to pay premiums for them, there will be some increase in demand for care. over time, health care providers will adjust. There will be some reduction in services that are not very necessary, and there will be some increases in the number of providers. In exchange, 30 million working people will receive care that is essential. I believe that's a trade-off that fits well with our traditions as a country.

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    Senior Member M&K's Retrievers's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=YardleyLabs;519837] More importantly, it shows up when over 30 million citizens (ignoring the non-citizens) are unable to receive care because they lack insurance. If those 30 million people receive insurance, either because of government subsidies, or because some generous person decides to pay premiums for them, there will be some increase in demand for care. over time, health care providers will adjust. QUOTE]

    I believe about 50% of the uninsured are so because they don't want to buy it not because they are uninsurable. I also believe that we should provide for those who cannot get insurance do to eithor medical conditions or poverty. Having said that, none of these 30 million can be denied treatment in this country so I wish folks would stop portraying them as at the mercy of the insurance company villians. It doesn't make sense to "fix" a system that works for 85% of the country to appease 15%. Fix the 15%. I'm not saying the 85% doesn't require some tweeking but not 2000 pages of government intervention.
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    Senior Member zeus3925's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron in Portland View Post
    As for France's health care system, what makes it workable? The question I would ask (not knowing much about their system), is does it work because it's good, or does it need to be integrated with the rest of their system (which I would question).
    Here you go, Ron.

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9994.php

    It isn't perfect but it is considered by most measures to be the best. When I visited France 2 years ago, French citizens I spoke were enthusiastic about their health care system.
    Zeus

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    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    [quote=M&K's Retrievers;519857][quote=YardleyLabs;519837] More importantly, it shows up when over 30 million citizens (ignoring the non-citizens) are unable to receive care because they lack insurance. If those 30 million people receive insurance, either because of government subsidies, or because some generous person decides to pay premiums for them, there will be some increase in demand for care. over time, health care providers will adjust.

    I believe about 50% of the uninsured are so because they don't want to buy it not because they are uninsurable. I also believe that we should provide for those who cannot get insurance do to eithor medical conditions or poverty. Having said that, none of these 30 million can be denied treatment in this country so I wish folks would stop portraying them as at the mercy of the insurance company villians. It doesn't make sense to "fix" a system that works for 85% of the country to appease 15%. Fix the 15%. I'm not saying the 85% doesn't require some tweeking but not 2000 pages of government intervention.
    Actually, "want" may be a little strong. If you are a single parent household working two jobs for 60 hours per week at $10/hour, your monthly earnings will average $30,000 per year. Taxes will consume $3-4000 of that and rent another $12,000. Health insurance premiums would be another $12,000, leaving about $80-100 per week for all other expenses including food for four. You would not qualify for any form of governmental assistance. The reality is that people in this position skimp on health insurance by being underinsured and uninsured, and then they hope for the best. While they cannot be denied care urgently needed to preserve their lives, they are not required to be provided any other form of care. Radiation or chemo treatment of cancer, for example, would fall into the category of things that they would not qualify to receive (which doesn't mean that some health care providers wouldn't provide treatment anyway.). In fact, what they tend to not receive is preventative care. As a consequence they become ill more often and their illnesses are more serious when first treated. It is generally estimated that 20-40,000 people per year die as a consequence of not having health insurance.

    EDIT: Sources

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/09/18...nce/index.html

    http://www.nchc.org/facts/coverage.shtml

    http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2003/A-Shared-Destiny-Community-Effects-of-Uninsurance/Uninsured4final.ashx
    Last edited by YardleyLabs; 11-02-2009 at 10:33 AM.

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