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Brent, don't blame me if you become evangelical about the BA system!


Here's an interesting quote from the article you referenced.

"Agreements between Detroit hospitals and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for heart, imaging tests, bariatric and other services provide access to some services not immediately available in the province, said ministry spokesman David Jensen.

The agreements show how a country with a national care system -- a proposal not part of the health care changes under discussion in Congress -- copes with demand for care with U.S. partnerships, rather than building new facilities."


Sounds to me like a synergistic arrangement between to geographically connected entities to share resources. Not the denial of care by an oppressive government you implied in your original post. Could this be part of the scare tactics employed by some who don't want reform?

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Ok Brent. You seem to like stories about the Canadian system. Well here's one second person. You see, we went to Bissett MB, that's in Canada, to do our NT trek this summer.

Our guide (interpreter) was Canadian. You will relate that you become pretty close to these people in the 8 days you spend in the wilderness. You learn alot about these folk and can pretty much judge their character by the end of the trek, can't you? I'm sure you got a pretty good feel about your guide to NT.


Well you see, over the week we learned alot about each other. Turns out that this chap was out camping with his friends about 5 years ago in the boundary waters and doing some rock bouldering above a lake. He dislodged a boulder and it took him to the bottom of the cliff and shattered his hip. Pretty messed up for a Canadian bloke, you think? Well, his friends went out on the canoes and got him some help. They brought in a float plane to evac him and another helicopter to take him from the seaplane base to the city to get help. He went immediately into surgury to repair the damage. Then off to rehab to get him back up and functional. 6 weeks later he was released and was able to go back to work. I asked him, "did you have to wait for care?" Oh no, he said. It was immediate. Well, I said, "Did you have to pay?" Oh No, we are Canadians. I said, well what was the total cost? He said, "about six weeks recovering." Typical Canadian eh?


So, for every horror story you read about the Canadian system, think about the real stories I've heard from real Canadians. And think. Is the story made up or modified to fit an agenda, or is it based on a real life experience? The story I just described came from a real Canadian, told to me, over a warm cup of coffee, on an island in the wilds of Manitoba.

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Is the story made up? This isn't the New York Times.


I've provided three news stories, from three different sources, one of them Canadian, all documenting the problems with the Canadian system. If you think they are made up and this is all a conspiracy, I hear Hillary calling your name.

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I don't think your stories are made up. But I do think they are cherry picked and don't expose the entire situation faithfully. Your story of the leukemia patient needing to go to the US to get treatment because Canada denied coverage just doesn't make sense. There's something more that wasn't told.


I've been to Canada several times. Every Canadian I've asked about their system, every single one, liked their system. I can't say the same thing about Americans. Does it have problems, sure. But it isn't the horror your stories portray.

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A few choice shots:


On the UN ranking health care quality in the US 37th in the world - UN rankings include subjective qualifiers like 'access' and always make the lowest possible estimation of anything in the US.


First point on Life Expectancy - The US leads the world in obesity ranking # 1 at 30% (Mexico 24%, UK 23%, Slovakia 22%)





Another point on Life Expectancy especially for Gern; Legal carry of firearms saves more lives than are lost:


"Scholars engaged in serious criminological research into "gun control" have found themselves forced, often very reluctantly, into four largely negative propositions. First, there is no persuasive evidence that gun ownership causes ordinary, responsible, law abiding adults to murder or engage in any other criminal behavior--though guns can facilitate crime by those who were independently inclined toward it. Second, the value of firearms in defending victims has been greatly underestimated. "




Final point on Canada: Two years ago I hunted bear in Alberta. My guide was 25 years old with a bad knee. He was in the middle of an 18 month wait for surgery. The other hunter and I wound up carrying the bait buckets most of the week because it was so painful watching him try to hustle through the woods with only one good leg.(This message has been edited by JoeBob)

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Thanks to the OP for the Craigslist ad.


My read is there just is no rational debate going on.


I do not see what the "bum's rush" is to get this done. All of us concede there is need to reform. We have multiple systems in place, none of which is necessarily rational to the others. We don't have a nationwide actualial pool (even though it's obvious the Commerce Department has the data). We don't have tort reform that washes away all the "my lip job didn't come out the way you told me it... wahh... malpractice lawsuits of convenience. We don't have tort reform that makes a true malpractice a really bad thing for a doc.


What we've got is the historic distrust of a large Federal Government finally expressing itself in full flower.


We are one of the two most civil yet serious conversations I see about this. Maybe we ought to start Congressional debates, town halls, radio shows, ad infinitum with the Scout Oath and Law.

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Hey Joe,

What would the wait time be for that 25 year old guide in America if he was one of the unfortunate young people without healthcare? Do you think as a guide in America his employer would provide him coverage, being a seasonal employee?

Hint, it would be a lot longer than 18 months.

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It is funny how many of us talk about the Canadian system will little specific knowledge of it.


I could also be dead wrong, but I believe that it is a criminal violation for doctors to be in private practice in Canada. I have not made that point previously because I am not at all sure of it. That leaves open the question of who owns and operates the hospitals.


If there are any Canadian neighbors participating in this forum who can provide specific knwleges, please share.

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There is still a lot of misinformation about the Canadian health care system in this country because let's be honest, US Americans don't really care what happens in other countries as long as it doesn't affect us.


So what is Canadian health care? It is Universal, Single Payer insurance - but unfortunately, US Americans just don't know what that means. Most of us believe that means that Canadian health care is run by the Government of Canada. It's not. Universal, Single Payer is health care coverage offered by single political entities. In Canada's case, the Single Payer is the Provinces. Each Province has it's own health care coverage plan, with it's own rules for eligibility and coverages. Put simply, the Province of Ontario may cover medical expenses that the Province of Quebec does not - and vice-versa. Nor does coverage automatically follow you if you move from one Province to another. Move from Vancouver, British Columbia to Toronto, Ontario, and there is a wait time to get coverage under Ontario's health plan. Granted, it's a minimal wait time (3 months) but there is still a wait time.


Because the health care plans are provided by the Provinces, there may be some restrictions. Most of us in the US who have health insurance can travel freely in our country with the knowledge that if we need emergency care, we can go to any hospital anywhere and be covered. The same is true in Canada. What's also true about Canadian coverage and our private coverage is that if you need non-emergency surgery (like arthroscopic surgery to a knee, for instance), you can't just decide to go to another province for surgery without prior approval - unless it's an emergency, you need to get most of your care in the Province that you live and have insurance in.


There is private insurance available too - typically it's supplemental insurance. It generally covers procedures not covered by a Province, and medications (which are pretty much universally not covered by a Province). (Oh, and insurance - either public or private - won't cover plastic surgery - but you can finance it though a medical finance company). It often covers dental insurance - which is also not offered by Provincial health coverage plans.


Like private plans in the US, and like Medicare in the US, most Provincial plans won't cover experimental treatments, or high risk treatments. In the case of the leukemia patient, there was no blood match donor available, despite a broad search for one - the probability of success dive bombs when no blood match donor is available. It's very important to note that the article clearly states it was the Canadian DOCTORS - not the provincial health insurance plan, that said they wouldn't treat - based on their medical knowledge of the risks with non-blood match donors. The provincial health plan agreed to pay for this young man to come to the US for treatment - which widened the potential pool for a blood match donor. The article does not make clear what the treatment was in the US - its possible that the cancer center treated him using marrow donated from a non-blood donor - its also possible that the cancer center found a blood match donor which could have made the difference between success and failure - we just don't know.


Are there wait times for non-essential medical treatments in Canada? Yes - but this is related to the number of doctors and medical facilities in Canada compared to the US, and not the their health care coverages. Canada only has a population of about 34 million - in a country about the same size as ours - they're going to have less surgeons and less health care facilities, and most of them are near population centers. Canada is still mostly rural - there are still traveling specialists in Canada. Doctors, Surgeons, etc. still work for themselves, or hospitals or clinics in Canada, just like in the US. A rural area may have a small hospital with a few ER Physicians who may be able to do rudimentary surgeries, but still airlift patients needing complicated emergency surgeries out to other facilities (just like in the US), and these hospitals often have surgeons who will travel in and spend a month doing non-emergency surgeries by appointment - have to wait 18 months for knee surgery? More than likely its because there won't be an orthopedic surgeon at your local hospital for another 18 months. You could travel to the big city and get the surgery earlier but if it's an outpatient surgery (as arthroscopic knee surgery often is), you're stuck with all the expenses of travel and staying in a hotel. I'd wait 18 months too.


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We already have a dangerous shortage of GPs. Lower pay ($170,000 vs. $400,000), longer days, and double the paperwork persuade med students that they'd rather be specialists.


"The AAFP is predicting a shortage of 40,000 family physicians in 2020."




"...one study found by 2020 the United States will be short 85,000 doctors."



So, how is chasing older doctors who don't want to work for the government into early retirement; and adding 47 million new patients to the already overworked pool of doctors going to make our healthcare better?

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