Date registered: Sep 2004
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RE: Ann Coulter thinks Canada went to Vietnam
Ah, yes the health care issue. It's not free. It's a series of provincial health plans that are paid for by a combination of taxes and in some areas, a monthly insurance fee. In Alberta, we have amonthly fee that is about $100 for a family, though low income folks are excempt.
Yes, we have longer wiat times for many procedures, but we do not do them on a first-come-first served basis. They are done based on need, and your spot in line has nothing to do with your bank balance or insurance carrier.
Our system saves money, true, and we do it by a compromise of the system with regards to treatment and by lower administration and third-party insurance fees. As an example, my Dad had an MI back in 1997. He still has not had bypass surgery. Not because he's on a list, but because there is a greater reluctance to perform an invasive and expensive treatment when drug and lifestyle therapy may work as well. In the US, there would have been no question about treatment and the bypass would have been done immediately.
The main problem that Canadians have with US health care is the lack of uniform coverage and that different folks are granted different levels of care based on non-medical reasons. It's a huge difference in our cultures. The Americans firmly believe that health care is a privledge that should be offered to those that can pay. It's systemic in your national thinking, based on a pure capitalistic outlook. We're different. We see health care as something that we need to offer to everyone that might need it.
Most first world nations have socialized medicine. We see it as one of the benfits of living in a wealthy nation. We tend to think a little different about our money than you in the US. We see that our incomes are stable and our lifestyles are comfortable because of the stability created not by pure capitalism, but due to a mixture of capitalism and social programs designed to minimize crime, social dischord and government instability. Part of the price we're willing to pay as citizens is our taxes paying for public health care and education.
The US sees it as "unfair." That's an opinion. We see the fact that people go untreated as unfair. That's our opinion. You have your system, and if you like it, fine. Use it.
Why is that the US has to constantly run down every nation that does not use an identical political and social system as they do? If you're wondering why there are lots of people, right now, in the world that dislike and distrust the US, this is why. Out of the 6 billion people that live on the planet, only 300 million or so are in the US. There are lots of people that want to live in the US, but there are lots of the remaining 5.7 billion that have no desire to. We want to continue to refine and improve our own cultures and systems.
But, we're not allowed to. US capitalism is forced on nations through trade tribunals and world bank economic sanctions, called by many names. What pisses us off is that a nation that loves to declare democracy the answer to the worlds ills, does not subscribe to it.
Things are not so bad in Canada. We have a standard of living considered as high, often higher, than the US. While we don't have as high per capita disposable income, we have terrific public education systems and one of the most highly educated populations anywere. We have excellent health care regardless of US perception and the grumlings of a few that wanted their MRI before anyone else. That is reflected in our high birth survival rates (excellent and available pre-natal care) and high life expectancy. We're willing to give up some of our personal wealth for the betterment of everyone.
Socialism, it's called. And contrary to some warped sense of black vs white prevalent in the US, it coexists with a capitalist economic system. They are not mutually exclusive.
I'm really trying to see things from your perspective, but I'm having trouble getting my head up my ass