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cowgal's picture
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If George W. Bush was an idiot...

In general rural communities appreciate their independence and do not want government interfering in their lives. Also, the rural areas are much more self-sufficient, meaning we take care of our own. I know its probably not typical for all rural communities across the country, however we've had a public health care system in place here for as long as I can remember (at least 25-30 years). Anyone can walk into this clinic and receive medical care, payment is based on your income level. Its a very nice clinic and staffed with both paid employees and volunteers. The overhead is paid for by the county, so obviously tax $$ are involved. They are held accountable and keep a streamlined efficient budget. I do NOT believe the federal government can do a better job.

Makwa, I did not ask about your health care system to bash it, I'm truly interested in what citizens of Canada have to say vs what politicians are feeding us. I find the citizen's experience to be more believable. I have several friends that live in Canada, so I've already heard their comments. Some good, some not.

I do completely agree that the larger population bases in cities decide the fate of the whole country. I also blame the media for coddling Obama and portraying him as some sort of saviour that will fix everything! Never mind the cost, or how many generations it will take to pay that exorbitant debt off. Right now I believe the tide is turning and people are finally figuring out that Obama is all talk & the cost is too great. Even the media and the cities will eventually figure it out. They have to, this cannot go on indefinitely. We have a couple elections (state level) coming up this fall and more in 2010, that will show the country what they really think of the liberal agenda that is being shoved down our throats.

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Joined: 12/26/2006
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If George W. Bush was an idiot...

Cowgal.........I did not mean to infer that YOU specifically were going to start bashing Canada.......just that this topic is a hot one south of the 49th and it rarely stays civil from what I have seen so far. So as long as this does not digress with others getting all hot under the collar about things I will talk to you about it, and if you want to move this elsewhere feel free.

I agree that federal governments simply can't get anything right on their own......yours or ours. Our health system is actually run by the provinces with the federal government in the back benches. Things do vary widely and the reports you get on how good it is will depend on where one lives.

I have lived for extended periods in three different provinces, with short stints in one more and in two northern territories. I will stick to the three provinces I have years of experience with, but can comment a bit on other provinces as I have of course got friends and relatives elsewhere.

I have lived for extended periods in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba. By far the health care coverage, waiting times and prescription coverage is best in Manitoba, followed by Alberta and then BC. Wait times rise quite a bit in the huge urban centers and really I guess that is to be expected. Another factor is the rapid growth in some provinces over the last decade and the systems struggling to keep up with the growth. Alberta has had this problem due to the oil and gas boom, as did BC in the recent past.

I have had to have surgery in all three provinces that I lived in due to injury, once was emergency surgery that required an air medivac. I have also had numerous broken bones that required attention and on several occasions required physio and rehabilitation after................so I have a fair amount of experience with things so far in the places I have lived.

Wait times in BC are not great to see specialists or for surgery that is not considered high on the priority list. Alberta is better than BC.........Manitoba is super fast compared to the other two. I know you hear horror stories about things in Ontario, especially the greater Toronto area .....but ya know for us that is like New York City or LA is for you folks.

Doctor office wait times......well it varies. Most places you are not going to get in at the scheduled time and can expect a wait. Where I live now in Manitoba, there is rarely a wait and you usually whistle in to see the doctor right around when you were scheduled to.

Basic medical coverage fees, as in your monthly fee for coverate, is usually based on your income as you described and the number of dependants. This is often the case with prescription drugs as well. You can also get extra/extended coverage through private health care companies like Blue Cross if you think you need it. Lots of employers of course offer extended health packages, etc as part of the employee benefits.

Now having said that I will be a little more specific.......basic health care in Manitoba (where I live) is free to all residents and comes into effect after you live here for 3 months. Up to that point you are covered by the health care in the province you moved from. Prescription drug prices are based on income and reviewed annually. Wait times for specialists are not bad, a few days to a couple months. Diagnostic services are very good and wait time for surgery is not bad either. I had to have one of my knees operated on a while back (need to get the other done to) and because of what I do they scheduled the surgery to work for me based on when I am busy and the weeks of recovery time needed before I could use it reasonably hard again.

Taxes.............well you know this has a lot to do with what you are use to. Canada has always had higher taxes than the US. It is what it is, but I certainly don't have any big problem with it. There are a lot of issues up here that are part of the bigger picture and need to be taken into consideration....not just health care. We live in a country with a land base that is WAY bigger than the southern 48 and have to have the infrastructure from coast to coast to operate, yet we have a fraction of the population. Something like what?......340 million in the US and 33 million in all of Canada.

I will never complain about our health care system because I have had the experience of being flown from the sticks to the big city for emergency surgery due to a smashed hip socket and broken femur..............another time I had multiple broken bones from a motorcyce accident while on duty. I never had to worry about whether I had enough coverage or that my wife might have to sell the house to pay medical bills.

And just for interests sake.................when I had my hip put back together the surgeon in the hospital in Vancouver, BC, sent around an information pack for me to read while I was all hooked to tubes and such. It listed what my surgery actually cost in BC and what it would have cost in an average US hospital. The price tag in Canada was $30,000 +/-. In the US the same surgery would have cost over a $100,000. Those are real numbers and I can assure you I am not making this up.

A problem we do have Canada wide is the recruitment of doctors and nurses. Many that graduate from our universities are lured south of the 49th by higher wages. My daughter was in the nursing program at UBC and she started getting stroked by recruiters from hospitals in Texas and California when she was in her second year. I am not pointing fingers, it just is what it is and people like money. Another issue is that most physicians do not want to practice in small town Canada..........same reason, less money and they cannot specialize.

We have 100's of South African doctors practicing in rural Canada that immigrated.

With all of the boomers retiring over the next decade everyone is on the hunt for medical professionals, so I think we are all going to see problems no matter how your health care system is run as less medical staff are faced with all of the crocked and aging boomers.

OK..........I'm tired of typing. Cowgal if you have some specific questions about things I have not covered fire away and will get to them tomorrow.

Cheers!

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Joined: 05/30/2009
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If George W. Bush was an idiot...

I do appreciate everyones responses . Here in Jersey where I live and as I said it is a very liberal I am seeing the opposite. In fact the woman I shoed for yesterday [ farrier] ,was actually working for the Obama campaign and she was making fun of his leadership abilities. Here is someone who went door to door in support of him. Most people here have pulled their Obama stickers off their cars . What really scares me is Nj is running its local government the way Obama is trying to run the country. Our Gov. Jon Corzine [who is anti hunting took away the power of our Fish and wildlife and put it under DEP who is also run by antis. Since 92 our taxes are up around 1400%. Unemloyement is at the highest rate it has been inthis state in 36 years. We have the highest property taxes in the nation except for Cal. We have went from the highest wage paying state to the sixth and businesses are flocking to get out of here. The whole nation is headed for trickle up poverty. Unlike lowering taxes to around 30% like Reagen, Obama is dueing the complete opposite. Brick Wall,) Brick Wall,) .

cowgal's picture
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If George W. Bush was an idiot...

Makwa, thanks for the insight. Your experiences are similar to what I've heard from my Canadian friends. Most state that their health care is good, but are worried about a lack of new health care professionals, and impending shortage of health care.

Doctors and nurses do not leave the US after being trained, in fact as you stated about health care workers trained in Cananda, and then leaving for the US, we also have many doctors/nurses that practice here from other countries.Why do you think that is? Because we still have a free market system. Its not controlled by the government. Why would I want to work in an industry that is controlled and pricing is dictated by the government? I'm in business for myself and I sure don't want anyone else telling me what I can charge - or even worse when I send out a bill, only a portion gets paid because some entity decides my services are only worth a fraction.

You've stated that you're an outfitter. How would you feel if your government controlled your industry and set your pricing?

Don't get me wrong, I do believe we need health care reform. I just don't believe OUR government can provide good health care at a reasonable cost. I would also like to see the reform come about in smaller chunks, meaning - lets start by writing smaller bills and attacking smaller portions first, like tort reform, than move on to another manageable chunk of the problem. I think proposing such a massive overhaul of our system is overwhelming.

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If George W. Bush was an idiot...

Well there are all kinds of things out there that governments put in place that regulate things. To a great degree outfitters are regulated and controlled by a number of different government bodies and their restrictions limit what an outfitter can make..............they dictate how many of what can be killed or limit the number of hunters and anglers on water bodies, they dictate where you can hunt, where you can graze horses, where you can camp, etc. etc.............so yes they do limit how much an outfitter can make. They may not dictate that I can only charge $7,000 for a moose hunt but they sure as heck tell you how many moose your clients are allowed to kill in a year or the maximum number of moose hunters you can take.

There are egg marketing boards that dictate production, there are dairy boards that limit milk quota, etc. Lots of government market controls in lots of different countries for lots of different things, including the US. Just depends what you want to look at.

Is our health care system perfect......no.......but nothing stops people in Canada from going elsewhere and paying for treatment if they want to. There are private health care plans available if they want to avail themselves of them and there are companies that offer extended health coverage if they want it and want to pay for it.

There is no easy answer to all of this and there are lots of people in each camp who are abolutely sure their way is the right way. I have had several friends in the US over the years that came down with dreadful diseases and by the time they passed away their families were in dire straights financially from the hospital and drug bills...............so from my perspective I don't think I am all that keen on your current system.

One thing I do know for sure, there is a an absurd amount of over charging in the way things are done with the private health care in the US. My sister had her son in California and I saw the medical bills from the hospital she was in near Palm Springs.......actually my parents had to loan her the money to bail them out. The fees charged were absurd and I guess that is what you have to charge if everyone in the whole system has a right to charge as much as they can squeeze out of you.

I don't really see the relevance of the discussion at times because you folks are Americans living in the US and have to make your own decisions on what is best for you................and that includes dealing with your politicians. I live in Canada and have no desire to live in the US, nor do I want it to be just like the US here. If I did I would move to the US. I am use to the medical system here and while it has its problems you won't see me lobbying any time soon to get rid of it and make it like yours.

The bottom line on this is we are not the same country. The US and Canada are different and we do not all think the same or see the world the same way. We may be beside each other and big trading partners, but beyond that .............. You may as well compare your health care with the health care in Norway or Denmark, it amounts to the same thing.

cowgal's picture
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If George W. Bush was an idiot...

Makwa, there may not be any relevance between our health care & yours, however it's natural to look at what other countries are doing, and more importantly what has been successful or not. That's why as Americans we are looking at what is being done in the UK, Europe, Canada, etc. We are not going to sit quietly and let politicians tell us what we need. Each of us needs to do our homework so we can make up our own minds, and then make sure our voices are heard.

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If George W. Bush was an idiot...

Yes.........I agree..............but when comparing you also need to look at the whole picture because there are a lot of other things that come into play in how a system developed in any given country. History and the resulting mind set, population base, georgraphy.................

Your best fit may well be parts of several different systems or an entirely new concept. I wouldn't suggest you sit quiet, but there seems to be far too many people running around half cocked and jumping to conclusions with little factual information. The other big problem is that people arre SO afraid of change. Change can't be good................

Hope it all works out for you folks. Good luck with the politicians, you'll need it.

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If George W. Bush was an idiot...

This has nothing to do with healthcare , this administration wants to control everything including the media. Yes we do need improvements in our health care system. Obama says that has to be done right away [ within the next few weeks ] but it wont take effect until 2013 ? Why because the people wont see how bad it is before his bid for re-election. Makwa you are right the price is out of control but it has more to do with regulations on health insurance companys being limited to what states they can compete in for clients. The second thing is that attorneys in the states have there hands in everything and have multitudes of frivolous lawsuits . Even the way things are no one is without healthcare now . Right now I have no health coverage because my wife is going to school full time and we just cant afford it . My wife and son do have it . I work 6 days aweek as a farrier but the cost to cover me would be around 800 to 1000 a month. My knee needs to be redone but I am able to work with a brace on . One of my clients is in a administation in a large hospital in my area and told me if I would go to the emergency room with my knee it would be fixed within a couple of days. We will have family coverage within a few months so I will wait. The point is yes this would cost the taxpayers but it is far less costly the the plans that the Obama admin. is trying to push through. We have the best healthcare in the world .

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If George W. Bush was an idiot...

tony.................man we could sure use a farrier around here. Farriers are getting to be very scarce. That occupation is very hard on you. I use to shoe all our own horses, but I had an accident that broke all of the spinal processes and I have arthritis in my knees..........so no more of that.

The inability to afford medical coverage is something I have heard from so many people I know over the years and what worries me ........even here.....is this trend towards lower paying jobs and jobs with little or no benefits.

We are all in for some big surprises in the next couple of decades and none of them are going to be good. Everything costs big bucks and the money has to come from somewhere......................

You know last night I was watching Obama talk and thinking about all of the different things going on and it dawned on me that the whole thing reminds me of an old movie 'The Omen'. Laugh

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If George W. Bush was an idiot...

The health care proposal is really about two things:

1) Making the American people dependent on the government for the basics of survival. Such action represents a massive increase in government power, and a corresponding reduction in the population's will and ability to confront it. As Jefferson said, a government that's able to give you everything you need is able to take everything you have.

2) Nationalizing one sixth of the American economy.

This isn't about health...it's about power.

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