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You’re right on the money with this post.

The corporate ideologues have been deliberately sabotaging the Canadian healthcare system (especially here in Alberta). Then, as the system crumbles, they claim that it proves that public healthcare doesn’t work and therefore we must privatize.


There is apparently an infinite capacity for evil in the universe.

Fortunately we have you, Grant, to combat the forces of evil!

Hopefully, I will see you out in the community soon if I can get my health somewhat back on track despite the crappy health care system.

Hey Grant and Polly.
Good post for bringing this thinking to the public. The perspective is excellent.

I have no objections to a public system especially as it has been so well executed by Cuba. It would be flattering to my Canadian ego if we could export medical assistance to the world.

Still, I have to evaluate attainability as well. A fully public system is not likely to fly here as America and corporates and even our political parties will not champion this tact.

I think consumer-driven health care is attainable, though. People-prioritized health as opposed to medico prioritized health.

I'm not sure that I have as much faith in the consumer as you do, Herbinator. The market system always leads to those with extreme benefits and those with extreme losses.

I do think that we need more public funding for preventative medicine and care-based medicine (like when the docs actually look at you and listen to you and pretend like they care). I know you NDs do that. You need to write a manual for the MDs.

Also, what is this about attainability and the poltico-corps not championing things? Where's the FUCK THE CHR spirit? ;)

Here in the US, out of the early Clinton era health-care "compromise," we often end up feeling the same way (Communist Russia) - we have rationing, though it would never be called that, plus somebody's sucking profit out on top.

Funny the drift: we may end up with a socialized medical system after the next election (big business wants out of the duty to provide health care) just as Canada drifts to the market system...

But you're very right about what's wrong with the Canadian system. A little story: my dad (Canadian brain-drain new-American) got a case of the prostate cancer last year. Guess where he had his high tech (and successful) surgery - Toronto. Paying cash. The form of surgery wasn't easily available in the US - but one guesses that there are a few Canadians out there waiting for service that were made to wait so that this clinic could work on the long line of Americans willing to pay for the operation. I went up with him that day - the entire place was full of Americans...

That's a very interesting story about your dad. I am glad that he got the surgery he needed!

I have heard about Massachusetts pushing for a public medicare. Although, my sister who lives in Boston says that the forecasted monthly rates are very high - around three hundred dollars a month! And, of course, people would likely still want additional coverage for prescriptions, etc. if they could afford it. Of course, in Canada, many people do pay for additional coverage as well.

I always have the impression that the medical services in the States are better than in Canada for those who can afford the health insurance. It surprises me that the high tech surgery your dad needed was available in Canada. I would have thought that because of the brain drain, it would generally be the other way around.

My dad's issue was an issue of board approval of the form of surgery, which happened earlier in Canada and the US. (This may well be a financial issue as well, as this form of surgery is less invasive and ultimately cheaper than hacking people open, which is the best practice currently available down here... Money is always involved in medical decision making down here, on one side or the other...)

Medical services, in some cases, may be better down here. But they are not available to all, at least not easily... Emergency rooms are in many cases the first and last resort for uninsured people, which is expensive and unpleasant for them and inefficient for the ERs themselves.

Plus... Insurance is costing both businesses and workers more and more money every year, and more and more companies are finding ways not to give health care at all. (Cut full time jobs that come with health care into part time jobs that don't, hire freelancers...)

One horrible effect that this has is the fact that you have a very, very hard time leaving a job to move, look for another one, etc.. For instance, when I finished my Ph.D. and got a job as a professor, I had to pay about $6000 to cover my family for the four month gap between the end of benefits at the old university and the start of benefits at the new one... Which seems a bit silly, but we had a new baby, and every uninsured American is just one major accident away from a lifetime of debt penury (get hit by a car, owe the hospital $150,000 for putting you back together...)

It's a mess, and it will likely be socialized soon. Let's hope both Canada and the US properly fund humane systems that are driven by the welfare of individuals rather than profit....

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