American Or Candian Health Care System?

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  1. megs78 profile image60
    megs78posted 14 years ago

    Hey Everyone,

    I am currently doing some research on the health care systems of the US and Canada and am looking for some opinions that you may have regarding comparing the two.  If you don't already know, Canada's health services are free to all Canadians.  Do you think that is better than paying?  Is privatization a better idea?  What works and doesn't work in your health care system?  I'll be waiting anxiously for some good responses.  <


    1. profile image0
      Leta Sposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I am American, have a good job, my insurance is good, fairly inexpensive and I'm usually very healthy.  If absolutely necessary, and all else fails, there are physicians who are personal friends who help with medications, etc., if I or someone else needs them, wink.  So I guess this issue, if I were a Republican, wouldn't mean anything to me.

      However, I do not think privatization as we have it right now is a good way of doing business, given my experience working for medicare at one point (medicare is partially privatized, and disinformation to the elderly and over billing is rampant).  I also believe that basic health care and treatment of the sick is a human right.  And this is a concern beyond all others.  Therefore, I'd support free health care for all as the Canadian system provides.

  2. Parkers House profile image62
    Parkers Houseposted 14 years ago

    The American Health Care System allows abuse of the system by doctors. The public has no recourse.  Doctors are making money fraudulently by charging Medicare outrageously for unnecessary treatments and procecures performed on elderly people, especially those in rural areas. These doctors set up shop and don't care if they get paying customers or not, Medicare will keep them rolling in the dough.

    1. megs78 profile image60
      megs78posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Hi there,

      Thanks a lot for your information and your viewpoint.  What is your take on the Canadian system...or do you even have a take?

      thanks in advance,

    2. nicomp profile image66
      nicompposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Every doctor is a crook?

  3. HealthCare Basics profile image59
    HealthCare Basicsposted 14 years ago

    The topic you want to discuss has been research thoroughly in many health-care related journals over the past decade. You can find good information from Hospital Quarterly,  Journal of Healthcare Administration, etc..... smile

    One thing, Canada is set up as a form of socialized or universal medicine. They may not pay for healthcare like we do in the form of payroll deductions, but healthcare is part of the cost of their income tax. So the canadian government does take money from its' citizens. I do agree the Canadian Health system provides quality healthcare, but they limit care to what is needed or standard. In other words, one may have advanced disease, but you not necessarily be offered expensive treatment.

    About ten years ago, we noticed Canadian citizens coming over the border into the US on vacations. Many were coming over to see physicians regarding their need for further health testing they could not get back home. They even paid for the testings or treatments with cash or credit. I don't know if this practice is still occuring today.

    Socialized medicine is a good way of providing basic health care to the population who otherwise cannot afford. We in the US have many citizens that work fulltime but are not offered insurances through work. The private cost is not affordable and therefore these people go without basic health care. This is horrible in this country. The extreme poor, due to either not working or below minimal cost wages can always fall into seperate welfare programs of the State they reside and receive basic healthcare. Our problem in the US is the largest sector of the population (low income but about State cut-off levels and middle class workers who do not have access for insurance at work or unaffordable) have no access to affordable basic health care.

    It would be great if the insurance industry , physicians, and politicians could work together to revamp overall health care that would meet the needs for all the right to basic health coverage.

    1. megs78 profile image60
      megs78posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Hey there,
      Yeah, I know there is a lot of great articles out there citing facts about the health care systems, but what I really want from this forum is opinion.  Because I don't live in the States its easy for me to be critical of my own health care here in Canada when I have to wait and when I feel like I've been put on the bottom of the pile.  But then I think that at least I'm being seen and it won't cost me a paycheck in the meantime.  But I wonder what others feel about their own situations and if they have had to endure any hardships related to their health care.  Thanks for your input and your view, I really appreciate it.  Megs

  4. Uninvited Writer profile image81
    Uninvited Writerposted 14 years ago

    In Canada it can be hard to find a family doctor, after I moved it took me 4 years. In the meantime, I used walk-in clinics. I believe the treatment was on par but you really do need a regular doctor. However, you can choose your own doctor, no one insists you have to use certain doctors which I believe is part of Medicare?

    Also, I was treated for breast cancer over 10 years ago and received chemo and radiation; all were paid by the government and my taxes. I don't believe I could have afforded the same treatment if I had lived in the US at the time. The pills I had to take cost $90 a week which was covered through my work insurance. Of course, I do have insurance through work and it may have been covered regardless. Before the cancer, I got a breast reduction also covered by Provincial health insurance. It was actually that operation that allowed the cancer to be found easily.

    There are horror stories of misdiagnosis and mistakes, but those happen in every country in the world regardless of state healthcare. I have heard countless horror stories about the US system.

    1. megs78 profile image60
      megs78posted 14 years agoin reply to this


      You're right, there are horror stories all over the place no matter where you live.  We have lived a couple of our own. 

      I was surprised to learn that half of personal bankruptcies in the US involve medical bills, though that figure is disputed by some.  I can't imagine having to pay through the nose for the right to be taken care of after all we contribute to society. I was angry that I had to pay 60 dollars for an ambulance ride. It's incredible to me that a government would put the health of its citizens behind, oh, lets say, education.  After all, if you don't have your health, what do you have? If you ask me, health should be first and foremost on the agenda.

      Thanks again,

    2. livewithrichard profile image72
      livewithrichardposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I'm a little confused.  Are you saying that you have universal healthcare plus an employer paid insurance?

      I like the way you phrase that.  Not sure we will ever have that sense of communal fortitude here in the States.

      1. Beth100 profile image71
        Beth100posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks Richard.  That's why I'm proud to be CANADIAN!  We stand together, for better or worse and we believe in giving back.  smile

  5. Dame Scribe profile image58
    Dame Scribeposted 14 years ago

    It's said that Cdn healthcare is being slowly eroded. As a NA I can agree as NA's are consulted with and have had to give up certain benefits but again, is due to rising costs which the government doesn't want to be responsible for and extra insurance is required for non-insured benefits...I think it's a great system except the erosion should be for only cosmetics purposes not access to treatments or procedures which should be immediately available if necessary n not have to go international tongue hmm

    1. megs78 profile image60
      megs78posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with that.  may I ask what an NA is.  I'm sorry if its a dumb question. smile

  6. Dame Scribe profile image58
    Dame Scribeposted 14 years ago

    Hi Megs78 smile Native american ...First Nations person as defined under the Indian and Northern affairs of Canada tongue lol isn't a dumb question. smile gov't is required to *consult* with FN's first regarding changes that will affect our Treaties. hmm

    1. megs78 profile image60
      megs78posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Oh Lord, I was coming up with things like Nurses Aid...well thats about all I could come up with:)  Thanks for clarifying.  Thats really interesting to know about.  What is your band name?  My foster brother is Cree and he never told me anything about what you're describing.

    2. megs78 profile image60
      megs78posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Oh Lord, I was coming up with things like Nurses Aid...well thats about all I could come up with:)  Thanks for clarifying.  Thats really interesting to know about.  What is your band name?  My foster brother is Cree and he never told me anything about what you're describing.

  7. Dame Scribe profile image58
    Dame Scribeposted 14 years ago

    I prefer not to disclose my location hmm sorry but due to a *troubled* relationship with gov' with FN's is a requirement and irks both sides lol lol ...also..Chief and Council members should be informing their band. hmm

    1. megs78 profile image60
      megs78posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      no problem!  I can understand that.  thanks again for the info smile


  8. LondonGirl profile image80
    LondonGirlposted 14 years ago

    We have a tax-funded National Health Service in the UK, which covers all medical stuff (including IVF, for example). I've just written 3 hubs about hte NHS, you could look at those if so minded.

  9. Beth100 profile image71
    Beth100posted 14 years ago

    I am very grateful for Canadian healthcare.  There is a freedom from worries as to how one will look after oneself if one is hurt, injured, sick or disabled.  There is a shortage of doctors, but the standard of health care is very high.  The technology is extremely advanced and is available for those in need.  No one is ever turned away when medical care is needed.  The patient's needs is always first; money is always the last thing to be discussed.  Sure, we are taxed for this benefit, but it is a small contribution considering the peace of mind that we each receive in times of difficulty with health.  Finally, there is no discrepancy between those who can afford health services and those who cannot.  We, as a country, unite together to help each other maintain a standard of health that in turn contributes to the well being of the country.  cool

    1. megs78 profile image60
      megs78posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      As a Canadian myself, I have to agree with you.  I have never felt the stress of wondering how I will care for my family.  I can't imagine how difficult it would be to have to go into debt just to pay medical bills.  This research has shown me how grateful I should be for what we are offered here in Canada.  Of course there are cons, but overall, I once again state that basic health care should be available to everyone as a right.  Thanks for your comments


  10. HealthCare Basics profile image59
    HealthCare Basicsposted 14 years ago

    I have a problem with medicare here in the US. We have the elderly who are now finally retired and depend on social security and medicare health insurance. My mother has to pay the first $450.00 out of pocket of medicare costs each year, but that does not mean all her care is fully covered. Medicare only allows a fixed amount for costs of care. Consults and tests not approved leaves the person having to pay the difference in what medicare decides to pay and what the actual cost may be. That places alot of stress on the elderly. I usually end up paying the difference for her just so she doesn't refuse essential tests.

    1. profile image0
      Leta Sposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      What also places a lot of stress on them is the privatized 'choices' of Medicare offered through insurance companies.  Many old people had a hard time understanding all the obfuscated (deliberately, I'm sure) language of the insurance companies marketing strategies to ascertain what is best for them.  Then there is the fact that we have little old ladies literally choosing between paying their bills and eating or for their medications.  I often heard of busloads of senior citizens taking day trips up to Canada or down to Mexico to purchase medicine--lol, kinda like road trippin' for the over 65 crowd--or something, I guess...  Embarrassment to our country, really.  A mortal sin, actually.

      1. HealthCare Basics profile image59
        HealthCare Basicsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Lita, I live in San Diego, 16 mile from TJ, Mexico and there are many US citizens crossing the borders for cheaper medications. It appears now since the new controls on the border require a passport to cross and closer inspection on US citizens returning to US, you will need perscriptions in hand if you get caught.

        The medicare supplementals are confusing, but if you can afford the extra money it is well worth adding to basic medicare coverage.

        1. profile image0
          Leta Sposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, I'd agree with the last statement in general, but I had many older people calling me who had been talked into this or that plan by insurance marketing reps, and found out it wasn't what they needed. (I worked for Medicare in Iowa City for a short time.)  The drug runs--lol--the people calling me actually had a sense of humor about.  Old geezers out on the lam or something like that.  And the drug benefit is woefully, woefully inadequate--at least as it stood about 4 years ago.  The long term care benefit is awful...

          What I'd tell people is plan before you retire & think of long term care insurance, because not even the enhanced medicare options will pay for that.

          And in Canada, there wouldn't be all this stress...  Nothing kills you more than listening to some little old lady living on $500 per month tell you she can't pay for her drugs while you go through various private drug companies' "20-30% off" charity benefits to 'help her.'


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