17,500 Canadians Can’t Be Wrong

Since Barack Obama was inaugurated President just over seven months ago, some 17,500 Canadian have come to the U.S. to receive health care.  Just since the President’s health care legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives in March, about 12,500 Canadians have come here for health care.  During that same period, how many Americans have travelled north to obtain health care in Canada because they couldn’t get it here in the States?  

The average wait time for a Canadian to obtain treatment from a specialist after seeing a primary care physician?  About 4-1/2 months.  In the U.S.?  Virtually none.

Want to see a primary care doctor in the U.S.?  Pick up the phone and call one.  In Canada, get in line behind the five percent of the population waiting to get a primary care physician (about 17 million Canadians).

And still there are those in Washington extolling the benefit of a government-controlled, single-payor heath care system .  .  .  like they have in Canada.

284 comments Add your comment

William

August 28th, 2009
8:42 am

If you liberals would have not starved an oil based economy to avoid the so called global warming and going green, higher taxes on gasoline could have filled the void. But nooooo, you starved the economy and the profiteers got the billions. Your ideology has never been put into practical affordable terms. It never will.

Now, you want me to pay for higher gas and your healthcare. Liberals cannot lead. It becomes more evident every day. Your statistics are created thru ideology and your college algebra.

good grief

August 28th, 2009
8:43 am

Thank you Canadian MD. Your input is obviously more informed and useful than anything Mr. Barr could write as you have direct experience and not useless statistics.

Trey

August 28th, 2009
8:44 am

Greg, and that is where more of our current taxes should go, is the military. We need fewer taxes but more of the taxes we do have should go there. Honestly, when the Conservatives were in office, we were getting pay raises a lot quicker than when the Democrats took office.

bob

August 28th, 2009
8:46 am

Les Miles, the ignorance is you wanting the same group that underwrote a TRILLION in bad mortgages, Gave us Social Security and busing will run healthcare better. Even you could come up with a better idea than busing !

Serge Savoie

August 28th, 2009
8:46 am

There are 2 types of Canadians that usually seek health care in the States: 1. Those who are in need of treatment or procedures that are so rare that there are no specialist in Canada. (to small of a population) In those cases, the provincial government usually pays for the procedure and even sometime for the hole trip. 2. And then there are the rich and powerful who would not be caught dead being seen sitting in the same waiting room as the rest of us ordinary canadians. That should account for most of your 17 500.

Trey

August 28th, 2009
8:49 am

Just let the people decide on the health care.

Larry

August 28th, 2009
8:50 am

Who said we need or want the Canadian system?

We have a good single-payer, government plan now, it’s called Medicare. It’s worked very well for the past 40 years. Could it be better, sure there is always room for improvement. So tweak it and let the people decide. If you want a government plan go for it, if not keep what you have or go buy your own.

Why are the insurance companies so afraid of competition? They could have improved their product years ago, but instead they just increased their profits!

TC6483

August 28th, 2009
8:50 am

I have friends in Canada and I have family in Germany. They all love their health care. I know that if there is urgent care it is there, NO WAITS, and even if it is not so urgend. This kind of reminds me about the stories of the dark ages. If it is something unexperienced, it’s EVIL and the rumors are flying to kill it.

Trey

August 28th, 2009
8:51 am

That is the best way to go.

William

August 28th, 2009
8:54 am

Obama lied about everything and Holder will get US citizens killed, and seniors have the death option. Now that is leadership I could die with.

TomTucker

August 28th, 2009
8:55 am

Actually we do have a single payer government financed healthcare system it, is called Medicare. Seniors get to go to any doctor or hospital of their choice, unlike my private insurance plan. Of course, as some of the right wing would say, it is bankrupt. When social security was bankrupt in the early 80’s, few of you Reagan worshippers remember that Reagan raised the social security tax to pay for it. But the new Reagan Gospel prohibits tax increases of any kind. So the logical conclusion would be to force seniors into a private insurance program if they could get it or afford it. Who would be killing old people then?
Why aren’t Republicans calling for the abolition of Medicare if the private market is always superior?

Can you see it

August 28th, 2009
8:58 am

Healthcare is not and i repeat a right. You and the government do not have the right to take my hard earned money to supply your every want and desire and healthcare is just that. Its a want. Im not buying into this big corrupt government any longer.

There are approximately 10 million american people without health insurance but that does not stop them from getting care. Those people can walk into any hospital and get good quality care without insurance. Thats a fact. What they want is to push their agenda and force more freedoms from americans.

Want reform, break down coverage, get rid of stupid lawsuits, allow medical and dental without drug rehab and maternity, I mean come on, why does a single man have to pay for maternity? The government is regulating the insurance companies and theres you high cost. Get rid of the corrupt medicare doctors and billers. One doctor cant see 200 patients in one day but they bill that way all day long. A wheelchair does not cost 3,000 and hospitals do not send pillows home with you so stop billing medicare for 4 pillows on bills. Medicare should become private and controled and so should medicaid. Get rid of the waist in these two programs and you could put a couple of clinics in areas where people that were uninsured because of cost could get care. Most however are uninsured because they want to be. There is the facts dear people who believe in Obama distroy care programs.

Atlanta Native

August 28th, 2009
9:00 am

Bob, you are nothing but an ignorant, racist, brownshirt to make such talk. You have no right to speak like this against the plans that the president and congress have for our bodies! We have a right to turn our, and everyone else’s, bodies over to the government.

Wow! It is fun to talk like that. No wonder so many people enjoy it so. Oh well, time to actually use my brain and see the logic in what you are saying.

Rob

August 28th, 2009
9:03 am

I cannot imagine anyone believing politicians would manage your healthcare better than you; who has the the interest here for you health? Certainly not a politician who is worried about the next election, the taxes, the money floating under the table. I really have a hard time even believing the statistics floating around about how many people are un-insured. It seems too much like a straw man argument to state that 47 million (thats well over 1 in 10) americans don’t have health insurance. And to that statement there has been no one to show me they cannot get access to it.
Is that not the argument being made by Obama…that we need more competition which interpreted to me means 1) that there is not enough insurance for folks and/or 2) that insurance is too high. If it is that there is not enough, I am not convinced. There should be more openess between states for sure but I don’t see a lack of insurance. There may be a lack of high end insurance plans like some businesses provide but not a lack of it period. It sounds like #2 the later is the problem….the cost.
Let’s be real…the only way government can control cost is to ration…there is no other way. To those who cite european models and say theirs is better just ask them…well that is Mr Barr’s point. Germans or Brits don’t have any other bais but what they have now because they are all mostly the same. Canadians do. And they flood across the border constantly.
There is also the law of unintended consequences here. If you set up a government sponsored insurance do you not think the immigration problem will exponentially multiply? How can you stop folks from flooding here for cheap food, free insuance, free to cheap housing? That has been the core problem with Oregon or Massachusetts…they got flooded with hands reaching out and legally cannot close their borders to just those living there when insurance started. We will see the same thing happen here if we offer this freebie plan.

JDW

August 28th, 2009
9:04 am

Hey Bob, how many Americans have bought perscription drugs from Canada this year? Try billions you moron and you drivel on about a few thousand Canadians coming to the US to see a doctor. During that same timeframe how many Americans have traveled abroad for treatment? I daresay far more than a few thousand.

Margaret Love

August 28th, 2009
9:05 am

I am a dual citizen of Canada and USA and it is ridicidulous how ignorant most Americans are about anything in Canada. Shame on our leaders here like, Bob Barr for being an ignorant Americans. I love the weather here but I prefer the health care in Canada any day. Does anybody else in Atlanta have Kaiser? Ugh! Copayments and deductibles galore not to mention WAITING TIMES! Oh yes, and the Wellstar hospital closest to my house (5min away) did not have their doctors !!!

Haliburton Billionaire

August 28th, 2009
9:06 am

The propaganda is sickening. And as long as there are twice as many Americans going to India and South America for health care your point is pretty much MOOT.

Facts Please

August 28th, 2009
9:08 am

The only fact here is that Obama and his Chicago cronies are tearing apart america piece by piece and handing it over to the third world countries in the way of trillians. You liberals cant think for yourself, your to stupid to look at the proof in voting and think government can take care of every thing you need. Let me tell you a secret. Its not the government its the working taxpayers and we didnt give birth to you and we really dont want to support you.

As for the 45 million uninsured, most of these people are not even americans. They are illegals here who do not pay taxes and take pleasure in their crimes against americans. Why in the hell do you want to give them health insurance? We should be sending them home and securing our boarders.

clyde

August 28th, 2009
9:08 am

Bob,
Read canadian MD over and over until you understand what he’s saying.Then vow never to write about anything about which you don’t have all the facts.Leave the speculating to your readers.

Here’s a hot tip for you.Find out how many Canadians elected to come to the U.S. because they wanted to and because they had the money to.And because they didn’t want to wait with the commoners.

Les Miles

August 28th, 2009
9:11 am

Trey maybe you can now tell us why the present system is so wonderful.

bob

August 28th, 2009
9:12 am

Wheat Williams, private healthcare in Canada is not against the law. Canadians had to go to court to get it.

VooDoo Child

August 28th, 2009
9:12 am

American’s aren’t going to Canada huh? Spend one day at the Canadian or Mexican border and tell me Americans are not crossing into other countires for care. You will see bus loads of senior citizens crossing into Canada and Mexico (Mexico!!!) to buy their drugs since they can not afford them here. The Republicans signed PArt D into law, an entitlement program by the way, and Americans still have to go to Mexico for affordable drugs.

All one needs to do is look at these posts to see the problem. Americans simply do not understand with the Obama plan proposes. Many hear what Limbaugh, Hannity or (gulp) Palin tell them and run screaming to a town hall. It’s called reding people, try it some time.

Les Miles

August 28th, 2009
9:13 am

Facts Please thinks there are 45 million illegals in this country. There you go folks. That’s the kind of ignorance revolving around this issue.

Dennis

August 28th, 2009
9:13 am

My friend from Canada was on a waiting list to get a knee replacement. When his turn came up after months of waiting he was denied the procedure because he is overweight. No statistics, just a true story that happened in 2008.

DirtyDawg

August 28th, 2009
9:15 am

So, rich Canadians want to come to the US so they won’t have to wait for face-lifts, tummy-tucks and hair implants. Don’t worry, those services will still be available, BOB, even after we get a public option (meanwhile, BOB, you really should use a little more Rogain – you’re in that in-between stage, not entirely slick and sexy but not enough left for a comb-over).

Access to affordable health-care shouldn’t be considered a right but totin’ guns is? Oh yes, I understand…you’re gonna need those guns when all those people that have been denied the ability to receive life-sustaining care decide to come and get yours…right? Your kind of thinking has been around forever – why do you think the KKK got started? – only now it’s not just to instill fear in the black community, it’s to make sure the down-troddin, the poor, the out-of-work with a pre-existing condition don’t start to get ‘uppity’. So what’s to be done? I’ll bet you you wouldn’t have any problem with using your tax money to fund a ‘final solution’…namely concentration camps and mass ovens. I mean if we spend all our time and energy seeing to it that the ‘hind-most’ get taken by the Devil, somebody’s gonna have to also see to it that they don’t get organized and do something about their situation…I mean even you don’t have enough bullets hoarded away for that.

Les Miles

August 28th, 2009
9:16 am

And Rob thinks we manage our own health care.

airline employee

August 28th, 2009
9:18 am

All one has to do to see how well the government runs things is to go to any airport and get on an airliner. The TSA is at once, the most inept and the largest of all the government entities. No accountability, no oversight. This is what you want for your healthcare? Finally, when the government makes it so difficult for doctors to do their business without big bro’ looking over their shoulder, the numbers of doctors leaving the profession will dwarf the current number.

Rebecca

August 28th, 2009
9:20 am

“We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize,” Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press. That’s a statement from the president of the Canadian Medical Association. Is that what you want for your healthcare? It’s not what I want from mine.

My sister-in-law was born and raised in England. Her father got a boil, and he died from it. Under England’s system, treatment is ranked according to severity. Boils aren’t considered serious, and he was given an appointment for weeks out, even though it was obvious the infection was entering his blood stream. All his family could do was beg the doctors to treat him, but the doctors had very strict guidelines to follow. Medical decisions are not made by doctors; they are made by the legislators. That’s not what I want from my healthcare system.

Let’s fix what is broken right now in healthcare. Start with tort reform. There is no reason an attorney like Democrat John Edwards should be a multi-millionaire just because he can convince uneducated jurists that doctors cause cerebral palsy. It is because of attorneys like him that my gynecologist quit delivering babies. He could no longer afford the $100,000+ in malpractice insurance every year. Look at how many unneeded tests are performed by doctors just to protect themselves from medical malpractice suits. Think about this. If a doctor sees 4 patients per hour, 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, for 50 weeks out of each year, the first $12.50 charged for each office visit is eaten up just to cover the medical malpractice.

According to the Association of American Doctors, the average medical school student came out of med school in 2007 with $139,517. Doctors have to charge enough to cover malpractice, repay exorbitant student loans, hire a competent staff, purchase expensive equipment, lease a clean building, and have some money left to put food on his table and a roof over his own head. The government is forgiving student loans to teachers under certain circumstances. Let’s look at creating a program that will forgive student loans to doctors in exchange for inexpensive office visit and yearly physical charges for low-income patients, and free office visits/yearly physicals for poverty-level patients.

Let’s repeal all the government regulations that have increased health care costs. When I had my last baby, I was ready to go home a few hours later. My doctor agreed I was ready to go, but he could not let me. By law, he was required to keep me in the hospital for a certain number of hours after delivery. That is a decision that should have been between him and me, not something that was legislated by Congressmen who don’t have any medical training. Is it any wonder insurance rates are skyrocketing when Congress bows to the political pressure from every PAC who wants certain procedures required under every single policy?

I had to go the ER a few years ago with a dislocation. It took over 10 minutes just in the check-in line to tell them why I needed treatment. I was one of the few people who had a true emergency, and one of the few who actually spoke English. I spoke to the triage nurse, and he said it’s like that every single night. People, usually illegal immigrants, come in for the sniffles because a private physician will charge them. However, by law the ER can’t turn them away – even if they don’t have insurance – or else the hospital will lose any Medicare reimbursements it is entitled to receive. Most of the patients will never pay a dime for the services they received, even though emergency services cost more than going to a private physician for the same care. So the hospital has to increase all of its fees to cover the costs of those people, much like your retailer has to charge more for its products to cover the costs of shoplifters. Let’s allow ERs to turn away non-emergency cases that are clearly non-emergency cases. Perhaps this could tie in with the proposal to forgive student loans. When an uninsured patient shows up at the ER for non-emergency treatment, he could be referred to a doctor who is providing free/reduced services under that program.

I agree we need to fix our broken system, so let’s just focus on fixing what is broken. Let’s not make it worse by giving the government more control over our healthcare decisions.

Les Miles

August 28th, 2009
9:20 am

Bob you give yourself away. Bussing? And if you are smart enough, please tell the millions of senior citizens in this country how Social Security has failed them. But please Bob, don’t miss your cherished time with Rush Limbaugh on our account. Bussing. Puhleeeeeeze!

Gail

August 28th, 2009
9:21 am

Once again, Mr. Barr, you are so wrong. READ what the MD from Canada said….I have so many friends in Canada and you are out right lying.
They LOVE their healthcare as do my friends in Europe. One friend in Scotland gets all of their medical, dental, etc. when they need it. NEVER a wait or worries. NOW lets go to me…..FIRST off I have worked since I was 16, never took a handout from anybody, including my sorry parents. MET my husband when I was 25, had so-so insurance and then he passed away after 15 years. I was left with 3 kids and cobra for a short while. In the 13 and half years since his death, I have paid appro. 800 dollars a month for insurance. This past year I have been very sick AND my insurance company, BCBS, whom I have paid and never missed a month WOULD NOT COVER TEST I needed. IT took me 2 months to get a appointment with a specialist, even though I was very sick. NOW, I owe SO much in medical bills that I will never be able to pay them all off.
SO what do I have to look forward to in my old age (and I am not there yet) NO MONEY left to my name. I will never earn back what I have had to pay on medical bills out of my savings. DID I say I have had a 5000 deductible with that 800 a month premium???? WE simply do not go to the doctor unless it is a emergency. SO Mr. BARR while I do not want the government to take care of me, there has to be something done to our system. AS it stands right now, I could not even get insurance from another company AS I HAVE A PRE-Existing condition, one that is not even that bad. SO Mr. Barr, while people like you, that have all the money they need and more, there are circumstances that happen to people like me, out of our control, where maybe we do need help. Of some kind. So when you lay down tonight and have NO WORRIES, think of the people like me that cannot even sleep for fear of losing everything, including my house.

Michael Smith

August 28th, 2009
9:23 am

Medicare and Medicaid and the FDA — along with state governments — have proven ruinous to the healthcare market. These programs, and the agencies that administer them, have driven medical costs through the roof.

As one small example: there are now over 200,000 pages of Medicare regulations alone, and the average doctor that treats Medicare patients now spends ONE FULL DAY per week doing nothing but paperwork to comply with those regulations.

Medicare and Medicaid relieved millions of American’s of any financial responsibility for their healthcare — and thus eliminated any incentive to shop for the best value. Simultaneously, the fixed reimbursement schemes of these programs destroyed any incentive to compete between doctors and hospitals.

Meanwhile, the FDA adds several years and millions of man-hours of additional work to develop any new drug.

The Federal law that requires hospital emergence rooms to treat everyone, including those who cannot (or simply will not) pay, has created millions of additional patients who receive treatment at the expense of the rest of us.

State governments have done vast additional damage with insurance mandates that force everyone to pay for coverage they don’t want and won’t use — just so those who need it can afford it. The states enforce these mandates with laws forbidding their residents from buying out-of-state insurance, thereby giving the insurance companies an entire state protected from competition.

And in the face of all this, you wonder why healthcare is so expensive and getting more expensive every year.

And yet so many of you think the solution is a vast new injection of government into the healthcare market — i.e. you want one more HUGE dose of the poison that has already sickened you.

I dare say those of you pushing for more governmenet control of healthcare are going to get exactly what you deserve. Unfortunately, the rest of us will get it also.

We need a public Option

August 28th, 2009
9:24 am

How many of the people who are complaining here planning not to take Medicare when they become eligible? canadian MD you made some valid points but unfortunately we are too dumb to understand most of your valid points.

TG

August 28th, 2009
9:25 am

Given that the current proposals for health insurance reform in the US bear absolutely no resemblance to the Canadian system, I have to wonder: Mr. Barr, why are you writing such irrelevancies? Are you clueless, or are you cynically assuming that the readers are clueless? The first indicates mere ignorance; the second, malice. Which would you have us believe about you?

Gerald

August 28th, 2009
9:26 am

@Deborah in Athens – as an insurance professional, you also know about the “Law of Large Numbers” – that insurance is based on more premium dollars coming than claims going out = profit for the insurer. I appreciate your comments. Were it not for some regulation, they’ed eat us alive. We need, and pay enough taxes to deserve BOTH in the US, not one or the other.

Chuck

August 28th, 2009
9:27 am

More misleading data – just like the woman the insurance companies paraded around and made ads about, the dirty little secret is that the procedures these people are coming here for are elective procedures like plastic surgery.

The Canadian system – quite rightly – places these procedures on a VERY LOW priority, whereas we have a GLUT of plastic surgeons in the US.

booger

August 28th, 2009
9:29 am

Deborahinathens,

I lived and worked in London, and for those who do not have private insurance, complaining about health care is like complaining about the weather. My neighbor had to wait 9 months for an MRI for a knee injury, and another 11 months before surgery.

Also, I do not know where you get the numbers for insurance companiy profits, but they are not even in the ballpark. I just looked on the google financial page and profits for major health insurance companies range from 3.5% to 7.5%. Pick one of the companies you hate the most, and look it up.

BPJ

August 28th, 2009
9:30 am

Two points:

Neither President Obama nor congressional Democrats are proposing the Canadian system. Anyone who says they are is either an ignoramus or a liar (which is Barr?). Neither is anyone here proposing the English system. Obama’s proposal is closest to what they have in Switzerland. I cannot find any record of Swiss people coming here for medical treatment. However, the NY Times found over 750,000 Americans going abroad for medical treatment last year.

Faux News and the rest of the right wing “media” are spreading lies about Democratic proposals, and also about health care in other countries. Not that it really matters what they have in England or Canada, since no one is proposing to import their systems here, but there are a number of outright lies about the English & Canadian systems. There is a British member of the European Parliament, a conservative, who has been on Fox for months denouncing the british system. Finally the leader of his own party – that’s David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party! – denounced this guy for spreading “outright lies” about the British health care system. My Canadian friends all say they prefer their system to ours. Perhaps you’ve heard the statistic about how on average one has to wait longer for a knee replacement surgery in Canada than here? That was a big right-wing talking point until someone noticed that most knee replacements in the US are covered by -oops! – Medicare. Government health insurance (whose costs are rising more slowly than those of private insurance). That’s especially remarkable when you consider that the “pool of insured” for medicare is old people – excuse me, “senior citizens”- who use health care more often than the general population.
Then there’s the loonies at Investors’ Business Daily, who opined that Steven Hawking would have been denied care under the british system because his quality of life (paralyzed in a wheel chair) would have been considered insufficient. Oops again! It never occurred to these numbskulls that Hawking IS British, and lives in Britain. Hawking issued a statement thanking the British Health service for saving his life.

Of course, none of this about Canada and Britain matters, because NO ONE is proposing those systems here. Got it?

nypeach

August 28th, 2009
9:30 am

Canadian MD, thanks for taking the time to educate us. I think it’s funny that Bob Barr, Mr. Masterpiece Theatre himself, purports to tell us what Canadians think and want. How about a guest column for the AJC? You have offered the most cogent argument yet for healthcare reform.

JackLeg

August 28th, 2009
9:32 am

Here we go again treating the symptoms and not the disease. This whole debate is missing the point. If you get people jobs they will have healthcare. So why not work on creating new jobs? Or we could just reward bad behavior with more perks…. Supply the jobs and the rest will fall into place. Torte reform and letting large groups organize across state lines to get group rates on policies. That is reform, not take over….

Michael Smith

August 28th, 2009
9:34 am

Rebecca concluded:

I agree we need to fix our broken system, so let’s just focus on fixing what is broken. Let’s not make it worse by giving the government more control over our healthcare decisions.

Great post, Rebecca.

There are many laws that could be repealed that would bring down healthcare costs immediately. But the Obama’s of the world are power-lusters wanting ever more control, and willing to promise anything to get it. The only issue is whether the American people will fall for the promise or see it for what it is: a massive power-grab over a huge portion of our lives.

Dual Citizen

August 28th, 2009
9:35 am

I am 53 and lived a total of 26 years in Canada, being born there. The rest of my life has been in the US.
My parents lived and died in Canada, both contracting cancer from smoking. They were treated extensively, promptly and correctly in Canada, when they needed it with no wait.
My aunt, a Canadian, has had 5 surgeries replacing both knees, both hips and an ankle. My uncle, her husband, has has two bypasses. All procedures were done with little wait and without a single cent in out of pocket cost. I COULD GO ONE FOREVER.
For anyone, to say the Canadian system is unworkable is totally ingnorant of the facts. ALL Canadians are treated fairly and without regard to their bank balance. The level of care is world class. REMEMBER THE “ALL” WORD FOLKS….WE WILL NEVER HEAR THAT IN THE USA.
The peace of mind KNOWING you will not be forced into bankruptcy because of medical bills is a given in most of the civilized world. Not here.
All of my US adult relatives work for insurance companies, including my wife. I see and hear the abuses of the system and the automatic denial of claims by insurance companies. This is the only country in the world that allows uncapped profits to be earned by a group of private, FOR PROFIT companies, to determine who gets care and who doesn’t. THEY ARE PRIVATE COMPANIES… THEY CARE ONLY FOR PROFIT, THAT IS THEIR JOBS SILLY?
Insurance companies have a simple motto….”pay us premiums……and we will keep them!” Simple.
People, take your head out of your a___es! Until the PROFIT issue is taken out of the equation, we will all suffer. ANYONE who thinks an insurance company is looking out for the well being of the public is simply an IDIOT!
THE GOVERNMENT PROTECTS US WITH A WORLD CLASS MILITARY…WHY DON’T THEY PROTECT US WITH HEALTH CARE?????????????
DEMAND IT PEOPLE, IT IS A RIGHT IN ALL BUT ONE CIVILIZED COUNTRY…..THIS ONE!!!!!!
I love this country, it is the best, most powerful country in the world…but we are dead wrong on health care….it is time to fix it…..I am a Republican who believes in universal health care..I think there are allot of us.

gtg

August 28th, 2009
9:36 am

so if 17,500 canadians leaving their country for better healthcare over a 7 month period is bad, half a million americans doing the same would be…?

last year my fiance needed GI surgery. we went to india and had a great experience. the level of care was fantastic, the procedure went just fine, and the entire trip cost less than the copay that we’d have paid if she’d had the surgery here (especially since her employer had downgraded their coverage and she now has to pay 25% out of pocket). we even got some siteseeing in to boot.

the savings was especially significant after the diagnosis. between waiting for appointments and waiting for tests, it took 5 months to be told she needed surgery (which we’d deduced from the start). we spent over $5,000 out of pocket on various drugs and tests, most of which were useless (and one of which was done improperly and had to be repeated). the total out of pocket cost, had we had the surgery in the US, was going to be roughly $13,000. going abroad, it was about $9,500

now, i guess i can’t really say anything about the canadian system, as i’ve never witnessed it and have only talked to a couple of people who have been in it. i’m sure it has flaws, as does everything else in the world. but americans really need to pull their heads out of the sand. whether or not you support universal health care, there’s something inherently wrong with a system wherein employed, insured, individuals can’t afford health care. maybe instead of just screeching about how universal health care is the devil, people should start coming up with alternative solutions.

Haliburton Billionaire

August 28th, 2009
9:36 am

“This debate has been completely maligned by special interests, particularly those who make billions of dollars a year off of millions of sick Americans. Bon courage…”

I felt this needed repeating. JJ and Linda are spot on. Too bad so many people in this nation are gleefully ignorant.

Dan

August 28th, 2009
9:37 am

No insurance policy should cover maternity. If you cannot afford a few thousand dollars for a doctor and a hospital room, then you shuld not be having a baby in the first place because you can’t afford to raise it.

BBro

August 28th, 2009
9:37 am

What about these injured girls mr. canadian md oh excuse me was I suppose to put dr in front of that I know how touchy you peeps are;MomOf2Girls

August 28th, 2009
8:21 am
I recently housed 2 young women from Canada in my home for a weekend. One of them had a gymnastics accident almost 18 months ago and dislocated her kneecap tore some ligaments. She is still waiting for surgery. She was given a date that was originally 12 months post injury, but the surgery has been rescheduled 4 times so far. She is now being told it will be next summer. She and her parents have looked into having the surgery here in the U.S., but they are unable to afford it without assistance, so she’s stuck trying to get around her college campus for another year with a bum leg.

Californication

August 28th, 2009
9:38 am

Hey if your “public option” works why not ask you congress or senate rep if they are going to be on it? LOL are you kidding me not one of those elitist will EVER be on the public option i.e.: socialized medicine. But hey it would be good enough for the “common person”.

Hey nypeach, glad you got an education on Canadian medicine, so why does the Prime Minister’s wife come here for treatment? I guess you did not get the whole education…

Jennifer

August 28th, 2009
9:40 am

TG, exactly.
I needed heart surgery in March and what did my insurance company do? They tried like hell to deny it. Like I was just sitting around sipping tea one day and said, “hey, I think I’ll have heart surgery today”. I don’t think so. Finally they agreed they would cover it; however, it wasn’t long before I started getting denial of payment papers in the mail. I guess they didn’t think I needed that extra blood, huh? It’s only heart surgery, right? And, by the way, those touting that there are long waits to see specialists in countries that have public healthcare, you are not 100% correct. If someone is in need of a procedure that is life threatening then they get the procedure. You make it sound as if there are lines and lines of people holding their chests waiting for their hearts to stop pumping outside of some clinic. Germany seems to be doing just fine with the public option and we can, too.

Michael Smith

August 28th, 2009
9:40 am

TG wrote:

Given that the current proposals for health insurance reform…

Notice the subtle way in which the Obamabots have been trained to no longer talk about “healthcare reform”, but instead call it “health insurance reform”. It’s a transparent and lame attempt to further demonize the insurance companies. It’s a tactic of desperation.

Ry

August 28th, 2009
9:42 am

DeborahinAthens – Those statistics are very much skewed. Other countries do not count infant deaths when the baby was born premature, still births, etc. so the 37th rank is not legitimate. The US has the best healthcare system in the world. That is why so many people come here from other countries to receive treatment. Go talk to real people from Britain, Canada, Australia etc and you will learn how poor the healthcare is. For example, in Australia a friend of mine broke his hand and had to wait 1 1/2 days just to see a doctor, but the care is “free”…no not really. They pay extremely high sales tax on all goods. When he came to the US, he couldn’t believe how “cheap” the prices were for televisions, clothing etc. Healthcare does need reform to become even better and more affordable, but there are better ways to achieve that than a government run system which will not bankrupt the country.

Yurtle_the_turtle

August 28th, 2009
9:43 am

I guess the Dalibama and his nuts can run our system into the ground and Ghandi and DeborahinAthens would like that too. I’m tired of Liberals painting themselves as “care providers”. Liberals generally just hate people and only care about their dogma. I read enough hate-mail when Robert Novak passes away about 10 days ago from “caring” liberals.
By the way, I have two family members who work as a nurse and a physician in Canada. They hate it, their patients hate it, and most of the intelligent people in Canada hate it. In the Canadian system, doctor’s pay is capped at $300,000 a year. They usually make that by August, and guess what happens after that? That’s right, they close their office until January! Great system. And for those of you who are in love with Europe, I have several family members who serve in the medical community there as well, and it isn’t better there either. So, if you’re a liberal, please move to China or Europe and get your health system in a government you feel better with.