Tuesday, November 24, 2009

O Canada!

Canadian flag Once again I am getting woefully behind on blog reading, and have even let my writing lapse a bit as of late. I’ve got plenty of cleaning to do before we have some relatives over on Friday, and we’ll be going to my sister’s on Thursday, so blogging may be in fits and starts in the coming week. I’m trying a new dealio, where I sort of let them accumulate and then go through and read everything on a few blogs, then do the same the next day. I’m not sure how it’s going to work out, but I’m trying to find a new way of handling them all.

This entry is a little tribute to my Canadian friends: Darren from Crackbook, Ted from the Godfathers Yahoo group (met up in Chicago for a great show!) and also on Crackbook, and Ziggy, who has been a long time reader here. It is prompted by reading a comment from a friend of a friend on Facebook concerning the teabaggers. After some other stuff, this person wrote “I just hope we ALL fare better than Canada has.”

What? Where the hell did that come from? Having made friends with the aforementioned neighbo(u)rs to the north, I’m pretty sure they’d be wondering the same thing. What does that even mean? I’ve discussed health care with Darren and Ted on Crackbook, and they and Ziggy have left comments here about it. I get the distinct impression that they are more than pleased with their single payer system, and I sense a real puzzlement on their parts that it is such a huge debate in our country right now. I believe I’m correct in saying that every other industrialized nation offers all of their citizens affordable health care. I have to say, I’m starting to wonder about us and our inability and/or unwillingness to do so!

I have another friend whose daughter has a life-threatening illness, and her insurance will be terminated before too long. This friend has investigated moving to Canada, because to continue to live here will almost certainly condemn her daughter to a death sentence.

We all know about people trying to get affordable prescriptions from Canada because the prices for some medications here are simply unaffordable for many.

So I take umbrage at the disparaging remark about Canada. As I commented to it on Facebook (I apologize, Dan, for hijacking your thread…although it was just one tiny little comment!), at least they don’t let their citizens die for lack of medical care. Every country has its problems, but I’m guessing my friends to the north would say that health care isn’t one of theirs. So here’s a tip of my toque to my northern neighbours, eh? I couldn’t resist a little Bob and Doug McKenzie. Beertox!


  1. Excellent points, Beth, and thanks for the defense of our nation, even if we have produced Celine Dion, Bryan Adams and Loverboy. I apologize for all three profusely.

    Someone could have pointed out to the person who made that remark that Canada's health care is ranked higher than the States and costs about half as much. Does it have it's own problems? Absolutely. There are some higher wait times for things that aren't life threatening. That's bound to happen in a system where everyone is covered. I think the two biggest selling points of the single-payer universal health care system for me are: Nobody dies because they can't afford coverage and nobody goes bankrupt trying to pay medical bills. Here you actually need a pre-existing condition, one of being a Canadian citizen.

    I've dealt with the health care system through family with nary a bad word to say about it. From my sister's treatments for non-Hodgkins lymphoma, my mother's hip replacement surgery, father's cancer treatments to my own dings and dents.

    To me, this is why I see your health care bill as a disappointment, with keeping insurance companies involved in the nation's health care. People there complain that it will be government bureaucrats who are making health care decisions. Well, that's exactly what you have now, just substitute "government" for "insurance". It's a vast world of difference in intent, where the insurance companies are more worried about their bottom line and their shareholders than the health of the patients. But at least it's a start.

    The Canadian life expectancy is higher and the infant mortality rate is lower. So to the person who made that comment, I do hope you fare better than Canada, but it'd be nice if you at least caught up first, eh?

  2. Wow, tell it, Darren! Believe me, it was a disappointment that the single-payer system was off the table almost immediately. I still think that is the best way to go, but the insurance companies are so entrenched and so part of the system now that I don't see that ever happening.

    I also forgot to mention fellow blogger and Facebook friend Paul...I knew I was forgetting a Canadian in there somewhere! :)

  3. From what I have been told they have better coverage than us. Our health coverage sucks. It cost me $200.00 a month for insurance just for me. To me that is steep. I hate it.

  4. i actually love Celine and Bryan Adams. Both have brought songs to my life that mean a lot. So sorry to hear of your friends daughter being so ill and her losing her insurance. Most of the people who bitch about this health care plan have no idea what they are bitching about. As i have said before, they either must have damn good insurance, are on welfare, or do not work to have to pay for the insurance and have never had to go without medical care like so many, me included.

  5. Darren pretty much says it all. I still don't get what all the fuss is about down there. When did it become such a crime to let people have affordable health care and not have to go bankrupt in order to have their loved ones treated in a hospital. As you said, this can be a choice between life and death for many. It should not have to be a choice. I hope your friends with the sick child do come to Canada. I would be pleased to meet them at the border and welcome them to a country where everybody gets treated the same. Keep your money in your wallet cause this one's on us. As Darren says we have a higher standard of living, a longer life expectancy and a lower birth mortality rate. Not bad I would say for having universal health care. What is there to be afraid of? Americans have a long, long way to go before they could even catch up to us. I feel sorry for those who have to suffer, die, or go bankrupt down there while the misguided zealots continue to argue and fight over nothing.

  6. Loverboy was a killer group.

    It is so sad ... there is a commercial in Va with these old codgers railing against the health care bill, with some bitter old man saying, 'Virginia seniors won't forget.'

    But what will they say to the AARP, who endorses the bill? It doesn't make sense to have old folks go against it. But when has making sense mattered in public policy in the last ten years in the United States?

  7. I've never understood the American medical system. I can remember, as a small child, talking to my Dad about the difference, and saying, "you mean they have to PAY to go to the doctor?" Even we don't understand sometimes just how lucky we are to live in this country. Celine Dion and Loverboy notwithstanding....

  8. If we don't have a public option to force our insurance companies, doctors , hospitals to compete they may as well forget trying to overhall the healthcare plan. I agree one hundred percent that old people either do not understand or there are a lot of rich old folk that can be choosy. I am not old , I am 80. lol

  9. It sounds like your Canadian friends are indeed baffled. And I guess they should know about their own health care.

  10. I love Canada, my future home should Sarah Palin become President. :-)

  11. In the immortal words of South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut...

    Blame Canada!
    With all their beady little eyes
    And flapping heads so full of lies
    Blame Canada!
    Blame Canada!
    We need to form a full assault
    It's Canada's fault!

    I actually don't have anything against Canada - but "Blame Canada!" (and South Park) cracks me up.


  12. While there is no chance of single payer here now, I hope they at least remove the state-to-state restrictions. That would go a long way to helping reducing cost.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?