Canada has better health care results and lower cost

Better Health Care results in Canada and costs are lower.

Canada's health care system produces better results at lower costs than our U.S. system. The infant mortality rate is lower and people live longer in Canada than in the United States. The cost is lower because Canada has universal single payer health care without parasitic insurance companies bleeding Canadians for 30 percent of health expenditures as we do here in the United States. The results are better because NOBODY, however poor, is without health insurance in Canada. It is true that there are sometimes long waits for non-emergency, discretionary surgical procedures. And some Canadians do come to the U.S. for cosmetic and other medical procedures not covered or for which there is a waiting list in Canada. But the bottom line is that overall results are better and costs are significantly lower. Overall mortality in the United States is 29 percent higher than in Canada.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?id=1503

Krugman is Correct about Single Payer Health Care

Letter to the Editor of the NY Times Published November 9, 2007


To the Editor:

I live across the river from Windsor, Ontario, and for several years I've asked every Canadian I've met whether he or she would trade their health care system for ours. I have yet to get a ''yes'' answer to that question. And, as someone who is covered by Medicare, I completely agree with Paul Krugman's comment that Americans like the program very much.

So it seems to me that since we already have a national, single-payer system called Medicare that works quite well, the most logical approach to health care reform would be to extend this system in gradual increments to the rest of the population, starting with the most vulnerable of our citizens -- children, the long-term unemployed and so forth -- until everyone is covered by the program. Am I missing something?

Ralph Deeds
Birmingham, Mich., Nov. 9, 2007

Are Drug Companies Bribing Your Doctor?

 

Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit has taken steps to put a

stop to "freebies" passed out to doctors and their staffs.

Here's a link to an article describing the new policy:

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008805230410

More by this Author


107 comments

livelonger profile image

livelonger 9 years ago from San Francisco

I agree. If people realized the full picture of our country's healthcare system, compared to how it's done elsewhere, we'd start to see some changes. Healthcare costs are growing at double-digit growth rates every year, so I think eventually we'll be forced to face reality and overhaul the system.


Woemwood profile image

Woemwood 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Healthcare starts with the lifestyle you lead and not with a certain health system,the same complaint is made here in Australia, however when you see the way people eat and live, and what they do as for their entertainment, there is no health system that will ever be adequate


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Well, in the U.S. more and more people are unable to afford health care. And fewer employers are providing health care insurance for their workers. For people who can afford it medical care in the U.S. is excellent. The problem is too many people can't afford it. This shows up in our third world infant mortality and life expectancy statistics. I completely agree that health care starts with lifestyle. Our eating and exercise habits in the U.S. leave much to be desired. BTW, it's good to see an Aussie participating in this forum. Where in Australia do you live. I've always wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand where sailing is even better than here.


Woemwood profile image

Woemwood 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Yes Ralph I live in Melbourne, however my wife's Sister live's in Bloomfield Michigan, and we have been in Bloomfield last year, we were staying there for 3 month so we got to see how the other half of the world live's, Michigan is a nice place and I intend to write an article, about the sleeping Bear, and the Lighthouses we have seen along Lake Michigan.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

The Sleeping Bear dune is an incredibly beautiful beach. Our family used to spend two weeks every summer near there on Glen Lake. As I'm sure you've heard, Michigan is in tough shape. Unemployment increased recently to 7.1 percent which is highest in the country by a fair margin.


Toronto GTA 8 years ago

Immigrate to Canada. Get FREE information at http://www.CanadianCitizen.com on Canadian immigration and learn why being legally in Canada is a top choice country for freedom, jobs and to live and may lead to Canadian citizenship.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Thanks for the comment! Immigrating to Canada as occurred to me more than once. Due to the Vietnam War and, now, the Iraq war. And I have yet to meet a Canadian who would trade their health care system for the U.S. health care non-system.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author


rogue nestling profile image

rogue nestling 8 years ago

Our health system isn't great. There's a huge shortage of doctors and nurses, and funding. Right now people can't even find a family doctor, and wait for hours in walk-in clinics and ERs to get prescriptions or for simple medical advice.

Yes, we ALL have health care, in the province I live in we are forced to pay premiums by law. This is the norm for many provinces. Sure, they have subsidies for low-incomes, but it's a myth that health care here is 'free'. Basics are covered for the forced coverage, anything besides doctor visits and hospital stays requires extra medical coverage which one has to obtain through employers or independently.

It looks like the government is pushing us to the limits to get us to embrace a private system by pulling away much needed funding. In desperation, people will pay the extra just to get to see a doctor. In fact, my husband has been trying to get a family doctor for weeks but nobody is taking new patients. He may have to travel four hours away to see someone on a regular basis.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. I wonder if you would trade your health care system in Canada for our "non-system" in the United States?

For many the answer might depend on their income bracket. Americans who are rich or whose employers provide comprehensive health care insurance like our system. However, growing numbers of Americans can't afford health insurance and fewer employers provide it. Health care in the United States is very unevenly distributed among the population. Many are fortunate to be able to afford health care insurance, but growing numbers have none. Medical expenses are a leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S.


rogue nestling profile image

rogue nestling 8 years ago

I guess it depends on the cost of the healthcare premiums vs. the quality you receive. Our country sells out our natural resources and futures to help fund healthcare. I consider that a price I am paying out of pocket. Our premiums are low, they do cover hospital stays and doctor visits, but you're unable to see a physician regularily, and waiting grossly long times for treatment. Plus, there are people here going broke caring for disabled, invalid and recuperating family members, and trying to foot the cost for expensive drugs not covered by health plans (if they can afford one that will offer prescription coverage).

Twenty-thirty years ago, we had a great healthcare systems. Now it's as neglected and full of holes as any other inadequate over-rated system. People fall through the cracks here, too. Ones that aren't poverty striken enough to get free care, and aren't making enough money to keep each day from being a stressful hand-to-mouth existence.

I don't see either system being the answer. I also see that governments spend far more time and money either promoting their 'great health care' and bickering about ways to fix it than it would actually cost to inject money where it's needed...for medical personnel and beds, rather than for surveys, panels, and any other abominal administration cost the governments love to divert money to. This isn't about a lack of money, its about the government's (both the US and Canada) inability to prioritize for humanity's sake.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

From what I've read the French health care system is the best. The U.S. system is the worst, except for the rich and those whose employers provide health insurance.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America

Our son had a brain injury and had good insurance but the hospital started getting him ready to go under Medicaid and Social Security Disability. I ask them if his care would be as good. They said it would be better. He also received Community Care when he had over $100.000.00 in medical bills that the insurance hadn't paid. They paid all of it. I think the help is out there but the problem is it's so slow in getting started.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America

3 months to wait for heart surgery in Canada and most are waiting 6 months. They can't work and their losing their homes because of this wait.


RFox profile image

RFox 8 years ago

Have to agree with Rogue Nestling: healthcare here in Canada is declining rapidly. Yes, everyone gets treated but honestly there are people who die on the wait lists, they are so long.

I would not want to see the US system here but I believe we should have a choice like in Australia (where I grew up) between public and private care. If you can afford it use private, if you can't you still have the public system. And if Canadian doctors were allowed to have a private practice, as well as, working for the public system then we might be able to keep them in this country.

Right now most of them jump ship to the States because they don't earn enough in Canada. Considering the high cost of medical school I don't blame them.

Just my two cents. :)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Thanks for the comments. I live across the river from Windsor, Ontario, and I have yet to meet someone who would trade their health care system for ours. However, I'm not suggesting that Canada's system is not having problems. I have been reading about dissatisfaction with the long waits for some procedures and financial problems as well. However, the bottom line results (life expectancy and infant mortality) are better in Canada than in the U.S. That is apparently because income disparity is much lower in Cnaada than in the U.S., and because health care is provided to all in Canada whereas in the U.S. the rich and middle class who have health insurance get much better care than the poor. And, of course, a much lower percentage of GNP goes for health care in Canada than in the U.S. because thay have eliminated for profit health insurance companies which don't add value to the system while taking 30 percent or so of every healh care dollar.


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I still believe that I had a better chance of surviving my breast cancer living in Canada than I would have if I had lived in the US. I would not have been able to afford anything over what my work insurance would have covererd. The chemo drugs themselves would have bankrupted me.

Yes, we have problems. It took me 4 years to find a doctor after I moved. But, I am glad we have it.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Our country is a poor place to be chronically ill!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/opinion/18tue3.h...


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

I hate to burst your bubble deeds, but on infant mortality you need to do some research.

Canada, like European countires only factors birth deaths into the numbers after 48 hours. So if a child lives 48 hours it isn't factored into their birth death rate.

The US factors it in if you take one breath. So this is a case whete stats don't tell the whole story.

I don't know if any American that has run to Canada to get treatment or surgery. But there are thousands of Canadians that come to the States every year for treatment or surgery.

I think we can all agree that the King of Saudi Arabia has enough money to get treatment any where in the world he wants to, and he chooses America. When he needs treatment he comes to Boston at MGH.

Not Cnanda, not Europe, Africa, not Asia----Amierica.

I wonder why that is?

The Shark


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Well, I don't know about what differences in the statistics may be between the U.S. and Canada on infant mortality. I'd be interested in the source of your information.

Second, I live right across the river from Windsor, Ontario, and I bump into Canadians quite often. Every time I do I ask them if they'd trade their health care system for ours. And I've yet to meet someone who said yes. Some of them have said that their system is not perfect--delays, etc. And apparently there are financing problems. But my experience indicates that you are not correct.

Here's what the World Health Organization says about U.S. health care versus other countries:

The U. S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance, the report finds. The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health services, ranks 18th . Several small countries – San Marino, Andorra, Malta and Singapore are rated close behind second- placed Italy.

Here's the link: http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-44.html

Where do you get your information? Put up or shut up!

Here's another more recent report

http://www.americashealthrankings.org/2008/otherna...


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

Information came from the dept.of health. You can verify that yourself.

Your bumping into people is anecdotal at best, check that statistics of people travelling from Canada for medical treatment in the US, and vice versa.

The same for Britian, check the number of people that come to the states for treatment as opposed to the opposite.

Unfortuately those costs you sight include the costs of two things, extra tests doctors have to run to keep the schiester attorneys at bay. The second is the cost of actual tort costs due to frivolous law suits. Recently one woman sued for having stretch marks following child birth. Unfortuantely this great new govt plan does nothing to address tort reform.

Please--your going to use Singapore, Malta, and San Marino, are you somking funny weed?

There is more world class health facilities just on Brookline Ave in Boston then most counties have, check it out. That one street has, Mass Gen Hospital, one of the top hospitals in the world, a leader in heart transplants, surgery and cancer. Next door is Beth Isreal, next door is Children's Hospital, one of the most sophiticated hlospitals for treating children from neo natal through teens. Next door to that is Dana Farber, one of the top cancer treatment and research centers in the world. In the same block is the Jimmy Fund, world famous cancer center for children. Next door to that is Brigham and Womans hospital, part of Partners and a teaching hospital for Harvard Univ Medical, offering everything form advanced cancer treatment partnered with the Dana Farber and the Lahey clinic. Across the street from that is the Joslin center, one of the leading diabetes treatment and reserach centers in the world.

Deeds, please don't insult us.

This is one block and doesn't include Boston Medical a few blocks away. In Addition to many suburban hospitals some of these world class facilities are now building 2nd and 3rd hospitals in the suburbs, Mass General and the Lahey clinic have just opened huge state of the art facilities in Davers and Burlington MA.

The only reason health care is now a crisis is becasue Obama said it is, he needs something for his lame legacy, I guess the trillion dollar defecit isn't enough.

Every president has something they try to leave us with:

Kennedy had NASA, Nixon opened China, Carter destoyed our military strength and our economy and our national confidence, Regan won the cold war, restored our military strength, and restored our economy and national confidence,

Bush Sr had the gulf war and drove Sadam out of Kuwaitt and showed that Arab counties could work with the west, Clinton had Monica Lewinski and the blue dress, Bush W had 9/11 occur and pulled us through and saw we were never hit again,

and liberated Iraq once and for all, now Obama wants govt to run health insurance.

I can understand coming from Canada why you support govt run programs, but it's not the way we do things in America. And the majority of Americans want to see America stay the home of individualism.

The Shark


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Shark, I'm wasting my time with you. You're a bullshit artist. I don't feel a need to check any more statistics. You have provided none. I have provided several that you have ignored. If you have some put 'em up here. Just about everybody but you agrees that there is a health care crisis--1. Because 40 million people aren't insured and, except for the rich ones, have to rely on emergency room care and 2. Because costs under the present system are going up at a rate that soon nobody will be able to afford it, thanks to waste of various kinds.


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

deeds, 35 million of them are lillegals.

We also estimate that 34% of drivers in MA are unisured as well, as reported by the commonwealth auto reinsurance facility. So I guess we have an auto crisis too, so nationalize auto insurance. We also have 9.5% unemployment, that would translate to about 20 million people out of work, so maybe we need a national work program, let's bring back the ccc.

According to the national life institute we have approx, 39% of all adults without life insurance---Crisis---Govt needs to provide life ins.

What % of the population do you think has no dental ins---care to guess. Well according to the national ins institute that figure would be a whopping 56%----Crisis---we need govt dental ins.

Deeds people like yourself think that govt is the answer, it's a socialist way of doing things, and seeing as you are from a socialist country I expect you to depend on the govt for help. When I was in Montreal a local tour guide was bragging about the "free" health care system they have. I talked with him a while after the tour and asked if he owned a house, he laughed and said with the taxes we pay--I can't afford a house. Well with our private health care crisis system we have in America I own two houses.

And I pay for my own health insurance.

While in Canada I bought a shirt at the mall and the it was about $80. and when I got to the register the woman rang it in and it came to about $130. I said she made a mistake, she laughed and said welcome to Canada---taxes. So much for "free" health ins.

Deeda as like most liberals, when you can't make your argument you reduce it to name calling and personal ridicule.

The leader of your party, if you are even a citizen, is Clinton and he was the king of name calling and finger pointing. He called it the politics of personal destruction, and he was the best at it.

The Shark---heading to a rally tomorrow to try to pry our useless congressman out from under his desk to answer a few questions.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Your figures aren't even close to being accurate. And nobody's advocating dental insurance so far as I've read.

You should change your moniker from Shark to Blowfish. I don't have time to waste on your disjointed, illogical, inaccurate bloviations.


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

Not yet deeds, but they weren't advocating national health care two years ago either. But in the words of Mark Twain---just wait a minute.

You really think this is the last social program the libs will ever advocate?? If so I got a great bridge I'd love to sell you.

I love the way you say my figures aren't accurate, which figures, and why don't you go to the sources, I gave you the names.

What is the income tax rate in Canada, and what is the sales tax rate?

I almost got sick when a client of ours transfered here from Canada and showed me the sales tax bill on his Lexus.

And I got sick and I live in a state that has a 6.25% sales tax!!

I notice you didn't respond to the, If you are even a citizen, comment.

I guess that answers that, and if I'm right then Candians should keep out of our internal affairs. You guys love monarchies and socialism, We fought a revolution to get away from the monarchy and the cold war to keep socialism away.

The Shark---Keep America Free


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 7 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

The Shark? Wow--just wow. HIs unbalanced rant kind of speaks volumes.

In Ontario, where my brother lives, that $80 shirt would be subject to 5% federal and 8% provincial sales tax, for a cost of $90.40. Steep compared to Atlanta, where I live, but a far cry from what the Shark claims. And according to this site, Ontario's combined rate is the highest in the country (tied with the "HST" charged in the Maritimes.)

http://www.taxtips.ca/pst/pstrates.htm

Either the shark is totally blowing smoke, or the lady in his story who charged him 62.5% knew a mark when she saw one.

Here in Atlanta, Grady Hospital is in crisis, to a large degree because of uninsured folks using the ER as a health clinic. That's alarming, because the hospital's site says: "Grady Memorial Hospital serves as the only Level-1 trauma center in metro Atlanta and for 100 miles in all directions." Last I heard, the kidney dialysis clinic is at risk, as they try anything to contain costs.

Another underappreciated problem with the status quo is that health care costs are a huge drag on business generally. The leading example is GM; their health care cost burden was a big factor in their financial struggles leading up to the recession. But the cost of providing health care is in effect a "privatized tax" on business.

Final comment: it's anecdotal, but my cousin lives in Canada but works in the US; his daughter has some serious health issues. Although my cousin's insurance covers her, and she does receive some care in the US, they still use care providers in Canada as well.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. HubPages attracts all kinds.


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

(Quebec 7.5 12.875 Provincial rate also applied to federal 5% GST.)

I pasted this sales tax from a tax breakdown by Provinces in Cananda.

Unbalanced? I ask a simple question---do you think this is the last big social program the libs will ever look for?

I am sure when soc. security passed they said, ok no more,

then medicare, then medicaid. Now our health care--the question is where does it end?

To socialists it's a rant and a ---it attracts all kinds, great coming from a non-citizen.

How would you feel if I moved to Canada, did not become a citizen then, like deeds, complained and whined that the Canadian govt needed to change to fit my needs and give me stuff.

That's what we're up against here, we have an estimated 35 million illegals that don't have insurance.

Politically---if Obama gets the insurance, then declares amnesty and they become citizens----what party do you think garnishes their votes?

So is this a health bill, or a party building vote disguised as a health plan?

Go Deeds, tell me

As for GM, thank the unions and the idiots at GM for that mess. GM gave in to huge demads for health and pension benefits.

So you don't think the cost of health care will be a huge drag on our tax system?

I know Obama is painting this rosy scenario of deficit neutral, but do you really believe this?

Tell me what govt construction project that has ever come in on budget. Tell me what military contract has ever come in on budget?

The govt built an underground expressway as an extension of interstate 93 in Boston, MA. Cost given for the project was

3.5 Billion, staggering enough on it's own---care to guess what the final cost ended up being?

Try 14.7 Billion with an additional 7 billion in unexpected interest on money they ended up borrowing for a whopping

22 Billion dollar price tag. ( to try to fix this mess the Governor has proposed increasing tolls by a mere 133% and has requested a 80% increase in the gas tax!!

Your hero, Barney Frank of Fanny May fame, said, rather than lower the expressway, it would have been cheaper to raise the city!!

These are the same people giving us assurances that it will be deficit neutral.

This thing is the new Emperor's clothes.

If it is such a good thing, why are they so afraid of it being read and debated that they tried to ram it through in two weeks.

If it's that good, let them debate it, get the kinks worked out and get some improvements in.

But I think we all know the answer to why the rush.

Shark


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

LOL---you link the New York Times, a real non partisan paper---lol. They can't sell one of their Boston Globes even in a liberal state, the Herald, a conservative paper kicks their behind.

The NY Times, The LA times, The Boston Globe, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN all have a great deal invested in Obama. ALL of thses outlets essentially became part of the Obama campaign.

Obama is so arrogant about that fact that he had two great quotes recently. In one instance he said to the White House Press corp , Look you all voted for me--no laughs, next he made the great comment at press conference, I wrestled all night on this issue and couldn't sleep, so I rolled over and asked Brian Williams what he thought.

And you want to trust these people to be objective about health care?

Let's not forget Chris Matthews, "I get a tingle up my leg everytime he speaks", and how about this memorable one, "It's my job to see that this President succeeds."

Private health care has to operate within their premium structure, and despite this the govt is claiming health care costs are out of control?

Do You or anyone out there really believe that health care costs are going to go down because the govt is running it?

The only way that could happen is services go down or are eliminated all together. Now if Obama is telling the truth and services won't go down, then costs will continue to escalate.

So where does this extra money come from?

The CBO report says that they see no cost reductions, just the opposite.

This whole thing will end up being nothing more than a new with holding tax in the future.

The bill calls for us to turn in our check book information for two reasons:

1: It stipulates that the health provider will debit on the spot from your ck acct any services not covered by the plan, thereby guaranteeing the provider a payment.

2: The bill stipulates that if a person fails to pay their health insurance premium their wages will be garnished.

Who is running this thing, the IRS?

What would happen if the govt eliminated with holding taxes and you were required to send a check qtly for your taxes to the IRS.

How many Americans would put that money aside and make that payment on time every qtr?

The number of people in default would be staggering---hence the govt came up with the with holding provision.

I believe the same thing will happen to health care, once the numbers of people falling behind on premiums becomes unmanagable we will have a health care with holding tax.

MA has mandatory health ins, and if you fail to pay because you can't afford it you get a $1500. fine for not being able to pay for what you can't afford!!

And the State ins plan is not cheap.

But if this what the people want, then we'll get it, then after fed income tax, ss tax, medicare tax, and a new health tax along with our state income tax, state excise tax for our cars, property taxes, state sales tax, meals tax, hotel room taxes, plane ticket taxes, alcohol taxes, and all the invisible taxes, i.e. state gas tax, fed gas tax, state tobacco tax, fed tobacco tax, fcc tax on cells, fcc tax on land lines, fcc tax on cable, preium tax on car, home, and life ins, and sec tax on mutual funds and other investments,

we'll pay govt in one form or another about 60% of our income.

The we will be Canada---welcome home Deeds.

Shark


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

The doctors who wrote the op-ed don't work for the NY Times. Atul Gawande is the most knowledgeable and thoughtful person now writing about health care.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 7 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

And, regarding Canadian sales taxes (GST and PST), in Quebec you pay .5% less than Ontario--total. My point stands, particularly since Shark claimed 62.5%.

Regarding the alleged 60% tax burden in Canada--I assume he's talking about income tax here--StatsCanada says that in 2004, the average household spent 20% on personal taxes.

http://www42.statcan.ca/smr08/smr08_022-eng.htm

Shark seems to have some problems with attention to detail.

I wonder if he's noticed the detail that Canada has been running budget surpluses for most of this decade, and is now comfortably able to afford a modest deficit for stimulus spending in 2009? Those reckless socialists!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Thanks, Doc. Here's where the Blowfish is coming from:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/14/opinion/14krugma...

Republican Death Trip

President Obama had campaigned to move beyond divisive politics, but instead he is facing an opposition that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 7 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

The hysteria from some has indeed been amazing. My guess is that it isn't going to play well over time, though.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

I hope not. Health care reform is too important to everyone for us to allow it to be blocked by a bunch of people like the "Blowfish."


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

From what I have read one of Obama's promises was that he would bring in national healthcare. He is keeping that promise. Obviously, a lot of people voted for him to do exactly that.

I'm sure our just-to-the-right of Bush Prime Minister, Mr. Harper loves been referred to as a socialist :)


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

I don't have much of an opinion about US healthcare, because I do not know enough.

However, the lies and propaganda told about other nations is disgraceful. We have Universal Healthcare in Greece, yet I pay no income tax, just a flat rate 20% sales tax and a few Euros a month to the municipality. My combined health insurance/pension payment is about $150 per month.

Very happy with that :)


Nelle Hoxie 7 years ago

I live in Massachusetts and have many friends and family that have benefited from the Massachusetts plan. My nephew has asthma and is a self-employed film editor. No private insurer would cover him, and because he is self-employed did not qualify for public help. Under the Mass. plan he pays $220 a month and has great coverage with a private health insurance company. He was considering moving to California until he realized he would not be able to have health insurance.

I can go on and list many many people who have been able to pick up insurance. No it isn't "cheap" and we've had to reallocate financial resources, but it's made it possible to have health insurance. When before health insurance companies wouldn't even look at many people because of age or health status.

People over 50 on Cape Cod can get a plan for $477 a month, which is less than half of what my friends pay for in other states, and it has better coverage than those other states, because everyone has to have it, not just the sick.

Yes I voted for Obama, because I wanted a major overall of the healthcare in this country. I have many friends in Canada, England, and France and they are amazed at how much energy and worry we have to go through in this country at finding decent health care.

And I will remind some, that it was a Republican governor in Massachusetts that championed this program.


Nelle Hoxie 7 years ago

I live in Massachusetts and have many friends and family that have benefited from the Massachusetts plan. My nephew has asthma and is a self-employed film editor. No private insurer would cover him, and because he is self-employed did not qualify for public help. Under the Mass. plan he pays $220 a month and has great coverage with a private health insurance company. He was considering moving to California until he realized he would not be able to have health insurance.

I can go on and list many many people who have been able to pick up insurance. No it isn't "cheap" and we've had to reallocate financial resources, but it's made it possible to have health insurance. When before health insurance companies wouldn't even look at many people because of age or health status.

People over 50 on Cape Cod can get a plan for $477 a month, which is less than half of what my friends pay for in other states, and it has better coverage than those other states, because everyone has to have it, not just the sick.

Yes I voted for Obama, because I wanted a major overall of the healthcare in this country. I have many friends in Canada, England, and France and they are amazed at how much energy and worry we have to go through in this country at finding decent health care.

And I will remind some, that it was a Republican governor in Massachusetts that championed this program.


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

What deeds doesn't get is that none of us are against Health care reform, but reform shouldn't be a take over by the fed.

But as, using his words, "a card carrying member" of the DNC I understand why he looks to govt as the sole answer to a problem. And as a usual card carrying member reduces the debate to name calling---good one deed ---real mature!

I want the provision in the bill that states that any co. that has a payroll over 281,000 will incur a penalty tax if not opting for the govt plan removed. Because Obama keeps saying, if you like your ins. you can keep it, but what co is going to pay the penalty? The will all move the govt plan, so how do you keep whatis not availabe? And he has not given a satisfactory answer yet.

Nelle, glad your nephew got ins, but it's private. The MA health connector gets you ins through private carriers.

Obama's plan doesn't allow for that.

Deeds, if we are going to have a serious discussion let's drop the name calling. If you only want a discussion with people that agree with you I'll stop posting on this site. The good thing about hubs is that it allows debate of opposing positions.

Shark


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 7 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

Shark, which version of "the bill" are you talking about? Can you point us to this provision, somehow?

No offense intended, but I've not heard of such a requirement before--and have heard some really serious distortions or outright untruths around this topic--so I think we all need to be serious in our fact-checking. Can you help on this one? Do you recall where you heard about this?


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

Ok here you go highlights from several of 1012 pages:

Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll

Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll

Page 167: Any individual who doesnt' have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.

If you don't have acceptable health coverage, you will be taxed "equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of — (1) the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year, over ‘‘(2) the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer." As long as that tax "shall not exceed the applicable national average premium for such taxable year."

Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).

Sec59B(c)(2). Non-Resident aliens who don't have acceptable health coverage won't be taxed as though they were a Citizen. There is actually a whole long list of people who won't have to pay the tax for not being covered.

Read it and weep.

Oh and deeds as a caviat to your great Canadian Health Care system, today the Vancouver Sun reported that at least 6,000

necesary surgeries may be cut due to a whopping 160 Million dollar "shortfall",(govt speak for defecit), They report this will cause major delays for people waiting for everything from chemo to neuro surgery!!

Here is a cut and paste of their headline, you can go and read the whole surgery:

Thousands of surgeries may be cut in Metro Vancouver due to government underfunding, leaked paper

By Darah Hansen, Vancouver SunAugust 18, 2009

The Shark


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Works for me.

The fact is Canada ranks ahead of the U.S. on ALL rankings by the World Health Organization

http://www.photius.com/rankings/world_health_perfo...

Life expectancy at birth

Canada--81.23 years

U.S.--78.11

Source for numbers--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_...

Do you have any better statistics? If you do put 'em out there or shut up. As Barney Frank put it yesterday "I don't have time to debate with tables."


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I swear I want to move to Massachusetts just so I can vote for Barney Frank :)

The CIA Factbook also has the same life expectancy numbers (just incase Shark doesn't want to believe the others).

About the surgeries:

"the VCHA's senior media relations officer, Anna Marie D'Angelo, described the proposal as “a planning document that outlined one possible approach we might be looking at.”

“No decision has been made to implement it … so it's inappropriate to say it's a done deal,” Ms. D'Angelo said. “It's certainly not going to be implemented any time soon.”


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

Do any of you actually read?? I never mentioned anything about life expectancy. I was asked where I got the information about employers being taxed if they elected to keep their employer insurance plan because Obama keeps saying you can keep your ins. But what co is going to pay the penalty tax when they don't have to pay by opting for the govt plan?

So I highlighted the pages and sections of the bill itself to show where the info came from and to show it wasn't me making it up.

In addition, whether Canada actually elects to cut 6200 surgeries is not the issue. The issue is that they WOULD even consider doing this.

So uninvited says "It's cetrtainly not going to be implemented any time soon."

Really---you can guarantee that?? So maybe it will happen a little down the road when you need surgery, I guess that would be ok.

The fact that their plan is $160 million in the red spells the fact that it isn't working---they have their own crisis going. Today Dr Brian Day of British Vancouver said that the "crisis" is bad enough that rationing and delays will be "inevitable"!!!

And you ask if I have a better stat??

What more would you like??

As for uninvited, you would like to vote for Barney Frank?

This is a congressman whose live in boy friend was charged with running a male prostitution ring from their apt.

But in MA these type of things don't matter. I find it interesting that someone that blogs using their free speech right thinks it is good that elected "reps" disrespect the voters trying to get answers and voice their opinion on the bill, both pro and con.

We can't even get our rep to hold a meeting, he's hiding under a desk somewhere.

We are beyond entering the slippery slope, you have Sen Waxman demanding payroll records from private ins co's. Today a senator interviewed on MSNBC, I didn't get his name but I can find out by tomorrow, came out during an interview and said private ins co's are not a commodity and we don't need them. He asked what do they bring to the table?

The interviewer, even on liberal msnbc, couldn't believe what he was hearing. you can probably see it on their web site.

This admin has declared war on private industry.

Maybe you are all ok with that, most Americans are not.

Deeds, again I tried to have a conversation and debate on things that I backed with facts. Unfortuantely you seem to always want to reduce the debate to name calling. This is a tactic used by most liberals, which you qualify as by your own admission---"a card carrying member."

That was ok, it's your right, but I thought we could have a reasonable discussion, I see I was wrong.

When dealing with liberals it's their way or no way.

If you care to read yesterdays post again about the taxes that will be imposed on co's feel free, or you can continue to ignore the facts. It's where we are heading.

The MA plan, which Obama's has taken a lot from, has just about bankrupt the state. Anyone earning $40,00 and under gets MA Health, the state insurance plan, for free!!

The gov said the plan has been wildly successful except for the funding. Is he joking---except for the funding??

Yhea--when you give other people's money away it's funny how people actually show up to take it. Just like cash for clunkers, a transfer of tax payers money to others to buy cars. If this is not socialism I don't know what is.

MA is desperately trying to find money where ever they can.

Uninvited you brought nothing but immature remarks to this conversation.

Deeds, seeing as you are only looking for people to blog with that support your way of thinking I'll leave you to your ilk.

If you care to actually have a discussion you are free to visit my hub.

The Shark


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Bye, bye. Have a nice day.


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

Thank you for making my point, don't let the facts get in the way of your posts deeds.

Keep up the good work representing those union members, of course just think of all the new people you will have to represent if govt health comes in.

You'll have boards, and governing boards, and oversight boards and more Unionized government employees then we could ever have imagined.

I guess we know at least one sector of the economy will grow----government unionized workers, guraranteeing deeds---- a canadian---- lifetime employment on the backs of the American taxpayers.

You couldn't even address one fact I posted directly from the bill---what is wrong with you liberals that you run from facts and hide under desks? My useless congressman is doing the same thing, hoping and praying that the recess ends so he can go back to his safe haven in Washington.

To everyone out there, I guess if we want a serious discussion on this matter we have to meet up on a different hub, where if you post parts of the bill it will actually be discussed.

This hub skips the entire posting of parts of the bill hoping no one notices the facts. Come to think of it, that's exactly what our congressman are doing---pay no attention to that imposed employer tax in the bill if they keep their plan-----ignore it, we will never impose it---right!!

Shark


ACanadian 7 years ago

Ralph, your comments are bang-on! Doc Snow, nice backup. The Shark is floundering in a sea of his own misinformation. I needed an emergency appendix removal when I was a broke university student. I went from emergency to the operating table in less than 3 hours (which most likely saved my life). The doctor told me that if I had to pay for that operation it would have cost me $26,000! I didn't pay a cent and the treatment I received was stellar. If I had had to pay that bill I would have had to give up on my university education and get a job to pay off the huge debt - which would have negatively impacted me financially, mentally, etc., for the rest of my life. That was 20 years ago and I am now a middle-aged family man with a great job (thanks to my university education), who is glad to pay some of his taxes to support a system that saved his life when he had no way to pay! I also love the fact that anytime I need medical attention for something I can go to a medical clinic in a shopping mall without an appointment...for FREE! Earlier this summer I sprained my thumb playing football at the company picnic. I drove to the closest clinic, waited about 15 minutes, saw a doctor who examined my hand, gave me a prescription to reduce the swelling and prevent infection, wrapped it up and sent me on my way. I had my prescription filled at the pharmacy next door (15 minutes), also FREE, because my company, like almost all companies in Canada, provides employees with extended health insurance which includes free prescription drugs after a $15 deductible. For the poor or unemployed or for seniors, the government provides free prescription drug coverage so one way or the other this is also covered. Furthermore, the drugs themselves are much cheaper than in the US in any event because they are often generic. It is sure perversity, or ignorance or (most likely in the case of the medical industrial complex, greedy self-interest) to NOT offer the same kind of a health care system in the US that EVERY other developed and most undeveloped nations offer to their citizens. I watch the hyperbole and lies on FOX and it almost makes my stomach turn. I know for a fact that the British are furious at the way their NHS has been portrayed by the loony FOX. Sadly, Canadians are used to this kind of ignorance of all things Canadian so we generally turn a blind eye or shake our heads smugly. Certainly, the US could learn from other countries with better health care systems but the big question is, WILL THEY?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. I've heard similar comments from many Canadians across the river in Windsor.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Here's an item from yesterday's USA today-

Explanations for why the USA has the highest dialysis death rate in the world vary. Some U.S. kidney doctors say that countries with national health programs, such as Britain, withhold dialysis from the oldest, sickest patients, while the Medicare program takes all comers. But foreign doctors deny that their countries ration dialysis. They — and many of their U.S. colleagues — attribute the higher U.S. death rate in part to Medicare's own payment system and the resulting "one-size-fits-all" treatment.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-08-23-dia...


The Shark profile image

The Shark 7 years ago from Hampton, NH

To what plan??? That would be the government medicare plan they blame?---again thanks for the support deeds.

Shark


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Yes. The government Medicare plan which is far from perfect and the medical and hospital profession. Medicare needs to do a much better job of controlling costs. However, it does a better job than the private health care providers and insurance companies.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills

Hi Ralph! I didn't know you had a hub on healthcare. Great comments, and as always I learned from reading your posts.

ACanadian - great attitude and perspective. And yes, hopefully, America will swallow her often over-inflated ego and learn some things from the examples of other countries. America is a great nation, I would never say otherwise, so anyone ready to call me an anti-american can stow it. But part of being great is being humble and always learning and growing. Shoot, our initial ideals which made us so great in the first place came largely from the great minds of europe, and those ideals were mostly based on the belief that all men -and women- are equally deserving of opportunity, liberty, respect, and a government that provides them with an environment in which they can pursue individual thought, practices and happiness.

A hundred years ago you could still pay off a doctor with a couple of chickens or a few jars of homemade jam. Things have changed, and overall they've changed for the better. The technology we have today would stun and fascinate the great thinkers of the past.

What the great thinkers of today have to figure out is how we're going to meet the financal challenges our great progress has brought us. Sixty, seventy years ago, health insurance was a good idea, but it isn't working anymore.

Why is it that so many people seem to believe that a working waitress or ditch digger simply doesn't deserve health care? It is a simple fact of society that not everybody can achieve a comfortable income. This doesn't mean that those who do not are lesser beings. While all humans are equally worthy and deserving of respect -to a large degree anyway- we do not all have equal access to opportunity. No, we don't. I know many people will deny this, and some will offer stories about how they made it quite fine thank you and from very humble beginnings, and may even point to government programs designed with the intent to give the little guy a hand up, we still do not have equal access to opportunity, and we never will. We can not regulate peoples' personal experiences. We can encourage, we can educate, we can provide a societal environment, but we cannot ever ensure that every person has equal access to financial opportunity.

We can, however, find a way to provide even the most hopeless among us with a FAIR chance for a healthier survival. And there is no single answer. And we probably will not get it perfectly right with whatever bill we end up with in 2009. But as long as we pretend that nothing is wrong, the cost isn't in just their health, but in our beings. The sickness that has become even more apparently rampant than that of the uninsured, is that of the uncaring.

Yes, the well-being of a nation's peoples is that nation's concern. A government that only works for some of its good people, or even most of its good people is still lacking. The question isn't how much is this going to cost us. The question is how do we really, effectively fix this without going broke.

The house bill's not perfect, the senate proposal is incomplete, and not perfect even in its parts. But they're better than anyone else has come up with so far, and they're a step in the right direction. If we wait for perfection, we'll never get there, everybody knows that is true in all things. We have to start. As a caring people, seeing a problem, we have to move in the best way we know how to until a better way presents itself. If the house bill costs us 65 billion over the course of the next decade, and does good along the way, then that's what we have to go with for now. If some congressman -democrat or republican- has an idea that will make it better, then let him or her speak up.

But all this naysaying and finger-pointing and doom predicting and OUTRIGHT LIES AND FEAR MONGERING PARTISANSHIP are pointless and unproductive. I really don't give a hoot what's wrong with Canada and the U.K., I want to know how we can fix things here in the U.S.

I see things that can be improved in the proposed bills, but man it's never the dumb stuff I hear people complain about. When I wrote my first hub on healthcare reform and the arguments against it I thought to myself that truly there was no point explaining about the myths of 'death panels' and rationing. I was wrong. No, I was right, because I could talk till I was blue in the face or type till my fingers fell off and the same people would still insist that Obama was out to kill their grandma.

And really, what kind of low-down person would talk about Obama wanting to kill their grandma when they know his own grandma died just last year? Or accuse him of rationing, when they know his own mother had to suffer through battles with health insurers in her last days? Do these people really believe this garbage?

Sometimes, some Americans really disappoint me. If all I had was that share of the population to look at, I would truly believe that our great American experiment had failed.

But the real problem is that they're terrified of what it will cost them. But they shouldn't be terrified of what our leaders in Congress are trying to accomplish, or of the methods they wish to employ, they should be terrified of their own leaders who are telling them these lies and inspiring these fears. Those people who are using their obviously misgiven influential powers are either utterly, unbelievably stupid, or truly incapable of good moral judgment, or lacking in intellectual discernment, or they're up to something.

At the lower leader levels, such as religious leaders, it's number three. They're following what they think is right, but haven't really got the intellectual discernment to realize it's wrong. At the higher level, it's number four. They've followed a party line for so long they don't want to admit it's wrong, or they don't wish to lose the power and/or prestige that they have, or they've become so lost in partisanship that they just want the democrats to fail.

Well, darn, Ralph, I rambled on and on. Being succinctly concise isn't among my gifts.

There were other things I meant to say after reading all the comments here, but I forget what now. Thanks for the thought stimulation, lol. If it wasn't so late I'd go write a new hub. Wish I had more time.

Good hub.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

TC, thanks for your thoughtful comment. The outlook for meaningful reform doesn't look good at the moment.


JamesBenjaminJrMD profile image

JamesBenjaminJrMD 7 years ago from USA

This is a good Hub! Good research! Thanks!


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

You wrote this 3 years ago. Did you already know something was coming down the pike?

Keep on Hubbing!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

The subject has interested me for many years. The simplest thing to do now would be to allow anybody who wanted to to enroll in Medicare and pay a premium or keep their current insurance coverage. Or they could enroll in Medicare and buy a Medigap policy to plug the holes in Medicare.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Robert Blumen: I believe that the word insurance has come to mean the same thing as health care in the minds of most Americans. In the current climate of opinion, it goes without saying that a third party (known as an insurance company, but not really an insurer in the strict sense) should pay most health care expenses. The idea of cash payment – the way we pay for most services – is inconceivable. While the pathologies of the current health care system and possibilities for reform are a huge topic, I will attempt to address only a small corner of the issue: the preoccupation with three- and four-party payment systems.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

People get emotionally attached to their argument. They could potentially see the healthcare landscape for what it really is but, it takes information and a gulp of pride.

The system is corrupt. Government regulations force us to subsidize frivolous procedural measures. It is also too easy to get MILLIONS of undeserved dollars through lawsuits (like the stretch-mark suit). Corrupt insurance execs are part of it. But, the horse-blinders the left has put on the public disallow Ralph and others to see the money grubbing lawyers and politicians on the periphery.

http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=6219&type=0

"..Measures are not independent of the [IMR]… infant mortality affects both life expectation at birth and years of potential life…Consequently, countries with high [IMRs] tend to rank poorly..."

"..Calculating IMR often varies widely between countries based on the way they define a live birth…WHO defines a live birth as ANY born…who demonstrates independent signs of life…Many countries…only count as live births cases where an infant breathes…which makes their reported IMR numbers somewhat lower…" (from Behind the Baby Count)

If the infant can't breathe but moves, we count them. Others don't. "...noting that France, the Czech Republic, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Poland do NOT report all live births of babies under 500 g and/or 22 weeks of gestation."

I won't list all measures that skew IMR charts. You cannot, however, live in denial of them anymore, continuing to regurgitate the manipulative "Michael Moore" type analysis like in this hub.

These people want your money Ralph. And if they don't get yours they'll take mine. You’re standing upwind of the lies of the left because “all people have a right to healthcare” sounds good.

http://www.safecarguide.com/exp/statistics/statist...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_...

Homicide, auto accidents – These are not indicative of healthcare’s effect on life expectancy in America.

My challenge to Ralph:

You are a passionate and caring. But, rather than seeing the biased frameworks of the left-wing healthcare argument you use their misleading numbers.

I invite you to continue educating yourself on healthcare issues. But you must also agree to change the bad facts in your hub. If you seek truth, then you will. You will look for more substantial facts and you will change the maliciously false points in this hub.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

The numbers are not from the left. They are from the World Health Organization of the United Nations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organiza...

The main reason the U.S. ranks so low is because, compared to the countries with universal health care systems, of the mal distribution of care in this country. The people who aren't getting care drag the numbers down for the whole country. Nobody's saying that for the people who are rich or employed middle class that the U.S. system produces inferior results. However, the U.S. costs are the highest in the world.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Opponents of health care reform basically are saying we should ignore the 30 million uninsured Americans who don't have access to adequate health care. Or if they aren't saying that, they should do something more than bleating about "socialism" and come up with some workable alternatives that would improve the situation. Also, they tend to ignore the fact that the costs of our "non-system" are already too high and predicted to go even higher without reform to the point where the health care and banking industries will represent an unsustainable share of the country's economic activity.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

I am pro health care reform. The horse-blinders I mentioned must have covered up my second paragraph for you, Ralph. Schultz, Maddow and Olbermann tell you that the right doesn't want health care reform and you believe them. The truth of the matter is that we do.

Here's my Congressman, Paul Ryan (Conservative):

http://www.house.gov/ryan/issuepapers/healthcareis...

The quality of health care in the US is the best in the world. The problem is not the quality of health care, it is the cost. If you want to discuss how the US should address cost, Ralph, then let's discuss.

I'm offended that you will not read my post for what it is. You see a conservative's view through the prism of the left rather than for what it is.

Your replies to me PROVE that you did not read my statement looking for truth. You read it looking for problems.

Ralph said, "The numbers are not from the left. They are from the World Health Organization of the United Nations."

You are not countering anything that I said. I said the "biased framework" of the left. The numbers are factual but used to prove a FALSE point.

http://healthcare-economist.com/2007/10/02/health-...

FIRST: Read the paragraph titled "Investigating Infant Mortality".

SECOND: Read the paragraph titled: "Overall Mortality Differences"

The second statement of your hub reads as follows:

"The infant mortality rate is lower and people live longer in Canada than in the United States."

You are right. The problem is not with the fact of the statement, it is the bad logic used to make an if-then statement in which your declaration is presented as proof that Canada has a better health care system.

Read Congressman Ryan's article and then read the Healthcare Economist article and get back to me.

Remember:

1-I AGREE with you that we MUST reform health care.

2-I DISAGREE with you that Canada has better health care.

COST? You must factor law-suits and regulations in the US.

QUALITY? "Responsiveness" is more accurate and the US wins that argument.

The US and Canada each have their pluses. Before we talk "best" you have to see the facts in the proper context without left-wing propaganda distorting and malforming them to their liking.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

It's commendable that Congressman Ryan proposed an amendment although it didn't pass. However, he doesn't speak for the Republican Party. My impression is that the GOP Senators have not made any serious, constructive health care proposals. Rather they have concentrated on blocking Democratic proposals.

We can probably argue forever on whether Canada's system is better than ours in the U.S. I guess the answer may depend on how "better" is defined. Our system certainly isn't better for an unemployed worker who can't afford to pay for COBRA coverage or whose coverage eligibility has run out. It's not better for someone who needs costly drugs not covered by his insurance if he has any. It may well be that nothing in Canada compares with the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic or Sloan-Kettering. However, these facilities are availbile to only a few Americans.

What "left-wing" propaganda are you referring to? The fact is that on average Canadians and citizens of many other advanced countries live longer than Americans, and infant mortality is lower in these other countries.

I've been eligible for Medicare for several years and found it to work quite well. The simplest reform would be to extend it's coverage incrementally over 5 or 10 years beginning with children, the unemployed and other groups who are most vulnerable. Steps must also be taken to curb the double digit cost increases--efficacy studies, fraud control, limits on unnecessary tests and the like. There are huge unjustifiable Medicare cost differences between communities thanks in part to the spread of "for profit" medical care (where doctors own the hospitals and testing facilities with the predictable result that more unnecessary tests and procedures are ordered often to the detriment of the patients). Medicare costs at Mayo Clinic where doctors are paid a salary rather than a piece rate are among the lowest in the country. And the care is the best.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

Here's my logic:

-----

Restaurant A serves 100 tables a day at $200 a pop. Only 90 families can afford it - Private health care.

Restaurant B serves 90 tables a day at $100 a pop. 110 families are in line - Universal health care.

-The meals at both restaurants are roughly the same.

-10 of the families that can't get a meal at restaurant B cross the border and get it at restaurant A.

PROBLEMS:

Restaurant A is MUCH too expensive.

Worse - not all families in A-land can afford a table.

Restaurant B doesn't seat enough families.

Worse - B families going to "A" still pay for tables at "B".

Worst - There are families in both countries that are not even getting a meal.

-----

They both have their flaws. We have restaurant A in the US. I want to fix it. You want to fix it. Let's fix it. But first, let's agree on the right information and not what the left shoves in our face so they can grow government.

Psychos like Glen Beck will argue til they're blue in the face that restaurant B is terrible. "DON'T TURN MY RESTAURANT INTO RESTAURANT B!!! ARGHHH!!!"

Ignoramuses like Rachel Maddow will argue til the cows come home that restaurant A is terrible. "Where's that extra $100 going? TO THE FAT CATS AT THE RESTAURANT INSURANCE COMPANY! WE NEED REFORM! ARGHHH!!!"

You and I can be logical. We can seek truth. If we really want to reform health care in the US then we need to listen and be skeptical until we discover the truth so we can make reform.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

"What "left-wing" propaganda are you referring to? The fact is that on average Canadians and citizens of many other advanced countries live longer than Americans, and infant mortality is lower in these other countries."

Life expectancy and infant mortality rates are not indicative of health care quality or availability. There are many MANY other factors that affect those numbers. The propaganda is to use those numbers out of context and with no explanation in order to say, "GROW GOVERNMENT! RAISE TAXES!...I mean...everybody deserves health care."


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

By the way, I pay 47.336% of my income in taxes and make slightly less than $30,000. Try this - For one year keep all your receipts, track the taxes paid on a spreadsheet and then at the end of the year use this formula:

Gross Income

-Net Income

-Tax Return Total

+Property Tax Total

+Sales Tax Total

+Other Government Expenses*

--------------------------

Total Taxes Paid

THEN...

Total Taxes Paid/Gross Income=Tax%

*Auto Registration, DL/CDL fees, etc. Any money the government takes outside of the aforementioned taxes.

You think you're in the 17% bracket? Wake UP! DO NOT support putting something as big as health care in the hands of the government. They are INCAPABLE of properly utilizing tax revenues.

By the way, my 47.336% is with the Bush tax cut in place. The tax cut which Obama will let expire. But Obama wasn't going to raise my taxes...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Logical Brian, Have you tried TurboTax? Or maybe you should see a tax adviser.

"Life expectancy and infant mortality rates are not indicative of health care quality or availability."

I say they are "indicative." They are the measures used by the World Health Organization. They aren't the only measures and they aren't perfect, but they are the most commonly used. Cost as a percentage of GNP is another valid, if not perfect, measure. Our cost is way out of line. Another consideration is the distribution of effective, timely care (not in the emergency room after it's sometimes too late) among the population, another measure where the U.S. is down with third world countries.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

Turbo Tax does not tell you how much you pay in sales taxes, property taxes, registering your car, etc. Saying that Income Tax is the whole of your tax burden is abhorrently ignorant.

Please don't make statements that attempt to make me look foolish, Ralph. Yes, I pay MUCH less as "income tax" but that's NOWHERE NEAR the true tax total the government takes from me.

Please take the blinders off your eyes, Ralph. I know you're smarter than this.

This is the last time I will reprimand you for replying to me without an intelligent consideration of my statements. You're making yourself look bad. I know you're smarter than this.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

Disclaimer: CAPS in place of some "italics".

TAXES: http://www.nowandfutures.com/taxes.html

-Go to the link.

-Read it.

-Let it soak in.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

INFANT MORTALITY: http://biggovhealth.org/resource/myths-facts/infan...

FACT: Infant death rates in Canada, Europe, etc are artificially low.

-They RESTRICT the definition of live birth.

-They are LESS WILLING to save low weight/gestation babies which are then not counted.

IF they used OUR DEFINITION of live birth CANADA would have a HIGHER RATE OF INFANT DEATH. Make sense?


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

LIFE EXPECTANCY factors NOT RELATED to health care:

-HOMICIDE (4.3 US; 1.5 Canada - per 100,000)

-TRAFFIC FATALITIES (20.1 US 9.2 Canada - per 100,000)

-OBESITY (reduces life expectancy)

-SUBSTANCE ABUSE (reduces life expectancy)

IF:These factors SKEW life expectancy rates.

AND:These factors have NOTHING to do w/health care.

THEN: Life expectancy rates ARE NOT indicative of health care quality.

Get it?

Want to rate health care? (ONE example)

Women - Average survival rate for all cancers:

-61% in US

-58% in Canada

Men - Average survival rate for all cancers:

-57% in US

-53% in Canada

This means 3 women and 4 men who die of cancer in Canada (per 100 diagnosed) would have lived in the US.

I refuse to go around in circles. You are either open-minded and will see the truth or you will not.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

In my opinion, obesity and drug abuse are related to health care or, more properly, should be related to health care. In the U.S. we put drug abusers in prison and we fatten our children on unhealthful diets at home and in the schools. The health profession needs to take a more active interest in preventing obesity rather than treating heart disease and diabetes. Wrt, homicides and traffic fatalities being lower in Canada, that just shows that they have more effective gun and traffic control regulation. The Canadians are a lot more sensible in many ways than we are.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

I'm not familiar with CMPI but I bet it's money comes from drug and/or health insurance companies and/or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If you know differently, feel free to set me straight.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

Ralph...you don't read me with consideration. Your dogmatic stances are bereft of logic and I am done discussing this, or anything else with you.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks for you comments. Feel free to comment on any of the several other hubs I've published on this subject. IMHO, you are way off in right field. You acknowledge that reform is needed but have not offered any constructive suggestions. As I mentioned heretofore I don't have the time or inclination to respond to every one of your one-sided "factual" claims. Seems to me you are piqued because I don't agree with you. Why don't you publish some Hubs defending your position?


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

My hubs are in the works. Since you already forgot about Congressman Paul Ryan's articles, which I suggested, I'll repeat them here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487038...

And since you're unwilling to actually READ Congressman Ryan's plan here's a video with him breaking it down. Take 4 minutes of your time and put your criticism of me where your ears are. Show you're not just a left-wing dogmatist.

http://www.house.gov/ryan/PCA/

You and I do not have the experience to "create" our own ideas entirely. We simply don't know what we don't know. So I read analysis after analysis and idea after idea. I've come to lean on the idea's of people like Paul Ryan because he considers things like solvency in his policies. The left doesn't seek solvency because they want more excuses to keep growing. They spend to get out of debt and then when we're deeper in debt we will spend more to get...further out?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

I prefer another Paul---Krugman. Ryan is following the GOP plan to demonize debt. He probably flunked economics 101.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/05/opinion/05krugma...

"To me — and I’m not alone in this — the sudden outbreak of deficit hysteria brings back memories of the groupthink that took hold during the run-up to the Iraq war. Now, as then, dubious allegations, not backed by hard evidence, are being reported as if they have been established beyond a shadow of a doubt. Now, as then, much of the political and media establishments have bought into the notion that we must take drastic action quickly, even though there hasn’t been any new information to justify this sudden urgency. Now, as then, those who challenge the prevailing narrative, no matter how strong their case and no matter how solid their background, are being marginalized.

And fear-mongering on the deficit may end up doing as much harm as the fear-mongering on weapons of mass destruction.

Let’s talk for a moment about budget reality. Contrary to what you often hear, the large deficit the federal government is running right now isn’t the result of runaway spending growth. Instead, well more than half of the deficit was caused by the ongoing economic crisis, which has led to a plunge in tax receipts, required federal bailouts of financial institutions, and been met — appropriately — with temporary measures to stimulate growth and support employment."

[Krugman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist.]


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

"Ryan is following the GOP plan to demonize debt." The left demonized Bush's spending, praise Obama's. BIAS! Also, Ralph, Ryan is LEADING. =)

"He probably flunked economics 101." He has a degree in Economics from MU of Ohio. Also, this is an "Ad Hominem" attack which is a FALLACY. Fallacies are used when no logical argument can be presented.

Krugman's Nobel Prize doesn't make him unbiased or non-partisan. Also, this is an "Appeal to Authority" which is a FALLACY. Again, fallacies are bad logic. His knowledge of economics speaks for itself and I respect his grasp of principles. He is not, however, infallible. He also starts his argument out with no less than three FALLACIES: "Missing the Point" "Post Hoc" and "Appeal to Ignorance". He is a great Economist. He is not a logical presenter of argument.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Krugman is a first class economist. He is also a Democrat who writes a weekly op-ed column which makes not pretense of being non-partisan.

Everybody, including the few Republicans left who have integrity, criticized Bush's cut taxes and spend more policy which left the U.S. in the biggest debt hole in modern history.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

I agree on Krugman's status as a highly competent economist. Still - "Missing the Point"/"Appeal to Authority" (FALLACY)

Your last paragraph is a combination of FALLACIES:

Ad Populum

Straw Man

Missing the Point

Post Hoc

I have a suggestion for you, Ralph, before you carry on. Please look up:definition of fallacies. You would do well to get a book on it. Learning about fallacies has been the most potent and useful tool in my search for truth in the mire of bias and propaganda.

And to offer an olive branch - Bush did cause damage to the economy and I was critical. Now, I ask you: Has Obama broken his promises? Answer.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

What campaign promises do you think he hasn't kept. My impression he has tried to keep most of them, but has run into unexpected problems and has been prevented from keeping others by the GOP "party of NO" in the Senate.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

Wait...what?!?! Ralph, I know your heart is in the right place. But, I CAN'T believe that you don't see Obama's broken promises AND that he lead the way in breaking them.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/r...

My favorite:

"We are going to BAN ALL earmarks..." -Obama Jan 6, 2009

The stimulous had over 9000 earmarks February 17, 2009.

Obama didn't even balk. The media didn't say a thing...well, Fox News did. But, they're biased, right? Calling Obama out for a promise he breaks only 5 weeks later is biased and unfair...it's tiresome debating liberals.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

Furthermore, liberals wailed about Bush's deficit spending. (I did too, along with Paul Ryan and other fiscal conservatives.) But, what do you say now? Check the chart in this article:

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/24/bush-deficit-v...

I trust you to be an honest man. I therefore challenge you to read that last article before responding. Your next comment should start, "I read the article."


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

Here's why I use terms like dogmatic, biased and close-minded for you and others using the Olbermann-opedia: I was critical of Bush. I continue to be critical of "right wingers". 40% of the 2009 earmarks were for Republicans. I called them out on it. Representative Paul Ryan did too.

Now, to REALLY show you how unbiased I am. Paul Ryan (you know I love the guy) had an earmark in there too. I could just say that it's only $750,000 of the $13,000,000,000 bill (for those watching at home, that's $1 in $17,333). I could. Ryan's earmark only weighed in at 00.000057% of the Omnibus bill but I felt it was wasteful. I shook my finger and called his office.

Now it's your turn. Let me hear an honest criticism of a LIBERAL YOU SUPPORT. (But not after reading the article in the post above and replying.)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Bush was cutting taxes for the rich and spending like a drunken sailor during a period when when our economy was not in a recession. This, coupled with regulatory failures in the banking and mortgage industry, created a huge bubble which burst and put us into a Great Recession. Obama's stimulus spending was, nearly all economists agree, was necessary to prevent the recession from turning into a depression.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

First of all...are you refusing to read the article I linked? http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/24/bush-deficit-v

"Bush was...spending like a drunken sailor."

CORRECTION: The DEMOCRAT Congress was spending like drunken sailors. Bush signed onto it. You need to learn how the branches of government work. The executive branch DOES NOT write the budget.

DEMOCRATS wrote up runaway spending and Bush signed on.

DEMOCRATS write up DOUBLE the runaway spending and Obama signs on.

I call a spade a spade. You just toe party lines. I was VERY critical of Bush for signing reckless runaway spending. You don't even acknowledge that it was Democrats that put it in front of him.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Bush put most of the programs in front of the Democrats and you forgot about the two wars started by Bush, not to mention his tax cuts for the rich. It's true that the Dems supported many of Bush's spending initiatives-e.g., adding drugs to Medicare and giving the drug companies a gift of agreeing not to negotiate on drug prices. The fact remains--Clinton was the only recent President to balance the budget with support from Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Reagan practised voodo economics and Bush I wasn't much better. Both increased the national debt.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

So you're still not trying to learn? You think you know all? There's no way you're mistaken?

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/24/bush-deficit-v

Don't just look at the chart, read the article.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

http://www.openmarket.org/2009/01/27/fiscal-realit...

Note that Noble Prize winners stand on both sides of the issue.

Ralph, I read your hubs and go to your links. You return the favor by wriggling around the points I make and the articles I present. It is plainly obvious that you are not willing to open your mind.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Cato is an extreme right libertarian organization. They are not in the mainstream of economics. And I doubt that the alleged supporters of their position are either.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

You've already poisoned the well. You love the biased partisanship of the left and refuse to analyze any observation from the right. Bias, close-mindedness, dogmatism.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Feel free to drink out of a different well. When you make a point worthy of comment, I'll do so.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

The Patient's Rights Act http://www.house.gov/ryan/PCA/

I've said plenty about it and you refuse to: A) Learn what it is. B) Comment on it.

You may not think it's worth comment, Ralph. But, you make that leap based on bias. Blind and arrogant bias. I know you are smarter than Olbermania. I know you're more compassionate than the people who ignore the FACT that this reform is on the table and continue to say "The right has no answers."

Comment on it, Ralph. Learn about it. Comment on it.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

Why am I not surprised that you haven't read and replied with regard to The Patients' Rights Act?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

The link didn't supply much information about the Patients' Rights Act. As you might imagine I'm not a big fan of Paul Ryan. "Blind and arrogant bias?" If you don't stop calling me names I'll not allow any more of your comments. If you disagree with me just tell me why and provide a few facts and coherent arguments. Keep the insults to your self. I don't respond well to your little diatribes and reading assignments.


celebrity  6 years ago

I'm not a big fan of Paul Ryan. "Blind and arrogant bias?" If you don't stop calling me names I'll not allow any more of your comments. If you disagree with me


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

A Health Care Maze for US Doctors

"Physicians in Canada, where health care is administered mainly by the government, did spend a good deal of time and money communicating with their payers. But American doctors in the study spent far more dealing with multiple health plans: more than $80,000 per year per physician, or roughly four times as much as their northern counterparts. And their offices spent as many as 21 hours per week with payers, nearly 10 times as much as the Canadian offices."

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/an-insura...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

The official in charge of Medicare and Medicaid for the last 17 months says that 20 percent to 30 percent of health spending is “waste” that yields no benefit to patients, and that some of the needless spending is a result of onerous, archaic regulations enforced by his agency.

Enlarge This Image

Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg News

Dr. Donald M. Berwick testifying before the Senate Finance Committee in November 2010.

The official, Dr. Donald M. Berwick, listed five reasons for what he described as the “extremely high level of waste.” They are overtreatment of patients, the failure to coordinate care, the administrative complexity of the health care system, burdensome rules and fraud.

“Much is done that does not help patients at all,” Dr. Berwick said, “and many physicians know it.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/health/policy/pa...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Republican Tax and Unemployment Bill Would Help For-Profit Hospitals Owned by Doctors - NYTimes.com

The payroll tax and unemployment bill would also repeal and relax limits on doctor-owned hospitals, which tend to raise costs for other insurers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/health/policy/re...


Asashii Fustazi 4 years ago

then why do Canadians with money come here for the best health care in the world HUH HUH, we have a hell of alot more people then you do, so yeah birth death rates are going to be different, but i didnt have to wait a whole 6 months to a year to get my operation, Canadian hospitals look like third world clinics, and i bet the rate of such things like MRSA infections are through the DAMN roof must be trying hard to convince yourself because i KNOW BETTER.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

In some cases rich Canadians may come to the U.S. for highly specialized critical procedures that may not be as available in Canada, just as patients from one part of the US may go to another, e.g., Mayo, Cleveland Clinic or Sloane Kettering. And in other cases. And in some cases they may come in order to get treated more quickly. However, the bottom line statistics on the results are better in Canada. Life expectancy is greater, and infant mortality lower.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

The Road From Poverty to Health - NYTimes.com

Readers respond to an Op-Ed article, “To Fix Health, Help the Poor.”

The Road From Poverty to Health - NYTimes.com

Readers respond to an Op-Ed article, “To Fix Health, Help the Poor.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/opinion/the-road...

To Fix Health Care, Help the Poor - NYTimes.com

If you count spending on social services, other countries spend more to achieve a healthier society than the United States does.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/09/opinion/to-fix-h...


danielthorne profile image

danielthorne 4 years ago


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/opinion/waste-in...

"A new report from a panel of experts convened by the Institute of Medicine estimated that roughly 30 percent of health care spending in 2009 — around $750 billion — was wasted on unnecessary or poorly delivered services and other needless costs. Lack of coordination at every point in the health care system is a big culprit....

"What’s clear from this report is that the pilot projects in the Affordable Care Act to encourage better coordination of care, make medical prices transparent and accelerate the use of health information technology are only a modest start. These have to be expanded, not repealed, if the nation hopes to make a real dent in health care costs. "


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

Death by Ideology

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: October 14, 2012 760 Comments

Mitt Romney doesn’t see dead people. But that’s only because he doesn’t want to see them; if he did, he’d have to acknowledge the ugly reality of what will happen if he and Paul Ryan get their way on health care.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/opinion/krugman-...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

Last week my wife and I sat next to an intelligent Canadian business woman on the plane, and as I frequently do when I meet a Canadian, I asked her if she was satisfied with Canadian health care and whether she would trade her system for our U.S. health care. She replied without hesitating that despite occasional delays in Canada for non-emergency care that she was satisfied with the system and absolutely wouldn't trade Canada's health care for U.S. healthcare even Obama care.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

1-10-13NYTimes "For Americans Under 50, Stark Findings on Health" by Sabrina Tavernise

Americans Under 50 Fare Poorly on Health Measures, New Report Says - NYTimes.com

Car accidents, gun violence and drug overdoses were major contributors to years of life lost by Americans before age 50.

The rate of firearm homicides was 20 times higher in the United States than in the other countries, according to the report, which cited a 2011 study of 23 countries. And though suicide rates were lower in the United States, firearm suicide rates were six times higher.

Sixty-nine percent of all American homicide deaths in 2007 involved firearms, compared with an average of 26 percent in other countries, the study said. “The bottom line is that we are not preventing damaging health behaviors,” said Samuel Preston, a demographer and sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, who was on the panel. “You can blame that on public health officials, or on the health care system. No one understands where responsibility lies.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/health/americans...

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