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

Gandhi

August 28th, 2009
6:52 am

Millions of Americans can’t get, or afford proper care, Bob. What’s your point?

Gandhi

August 28th, 2009
6:56 am

DeborahinAthens

August 28th, 2009
6:56 am

How about getting some real statistics! Of all of the industrialized nations, the US ranks 37th in healthcare (cost, treatment outcome, longevity, infant mortality, etc) while Great Britain ranks 17th. I don’t know the ranking for Canada, but I have never met anyone from Canada, Great Britain, or France that has ever had anything bad to say about their healthcare system. In this country, there is no waiting time for a procedure. If Aetna, Cigna, et.al. doesn’t want you to have it. If they won’t cover it, and , if you can’t afford it, it simply does not get done. I love hearing the “free market capitalists” rant about letting the market take care of the costs. Believe me, if the government deregulates the insurance industry and lets insurance companies operate across state lines (the Republicans favorite healthcare reform plan), they will not lower premiums, they will raise them. Why? It is in their best interests to do so. Another nasty side effect will be that “unhealthy” states like Georgia will have very few options, while “healthy” states, like Colorado, will have plenty of coverage. We only have to look at the deregulation of the power companies and gas companies to see what the effects are. Remember Enron, anyone? Enron could not have even existed if that industry had not been deregulated. I am in a business that requires me to take 15 hours of continuing education to keep my insurance license. Last month, while studying the material, I had to laugh! The subject was ethics, and it was discussing why it was necessary to have so much government regulation of the insurance industry. Know what the answer was??? IT WAS BECAUSE THE FREE MARKET WOULD NOT ENSURE THAT INSURANCE COMPANIES WOULD DO WHAT WAS RIGHT FOR THE INSURED! Even the industry itself knows that greed and striving for profit will make the insured very low on the list of priorities. If you retire or are laid off and you have diabetes or Parkinson’s disease, after COBRA terminates, you will NOT be able to get any healthcare insurance, period. While you are throwing out “statistics” let’s try another one. As recently as a decade ago, about .12 of every dollar of premium was a profit for healthcare insurers. With technology and better tracking of individuals, today about .22 of every dollar of premium is profit. Know why? With today’s sophisticated technology, the insurance company has exquisite ability to ferret out the high-risk client and terminate their coverage. And if any of you believe that they don’t do that, just wait. Your time will come.

Michael H. Smith

August 28th, 2009
6:58 am

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.

If ObumerCare a.k.a. the Public government run no-Option healthcare becomes the law Americans, especially seniors, may have worse fears than a long wait if-when specialists are forced to stop practicing medicine.

Cardiologists Crying Foul Over Medicare Cuts Hurt Obama Revamp

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aRqnpw9ZInJ4

Karl Marx

August 28th, 2009
7:26 am

Dear, DeborahinAthens How about you stop with the liberal talking points and get some real statics like talking with some of the people from Canada, Great Brit, etc. I work with many people from Canada and Europe. They tell me we do not want this plan and have repeated many horror stories about their government run health care system. Our system needs reform but the Democrats plan is not it.

Ian

August 28th, 2009
7:27 am

Thanks for pointing this out, Bob. I spent the first 20 years of my life in the Canadian system. Thankfully I was very healthy and only had to use the system for emergency care on a very small number of occasions.

I urge people to learn about the Castonguay Report.

Canadians have always had access to third-party, private care at their expense. That tier is called “The United States”. When it’s flat out illegal to get the care you want and can afford from a private provider (or be that private provider), the only thing you can do is go to one of the few places in the world where you are allowed to do that. Fortunately the vast majority of the Canadian population lives within a day trip of the U.S.

Bill Johnson

August 28th, 2009
7:30 am

Well, Gahndi, why don’t you break down those millions into: those who are able but choose not to, those that are illegally in the country, etc – then tell me how many needy people can’t get care when they need it. Much smaller number, that. And if you think government medicine is so great – go the F**K elsewhere to get it. I DON”T WANT IT!!!!!

Bankrupt my country to give shoddy, inept care – did you even see the BBC’s stories about NHS? Do you research anything for yourself? Do you think, or just emote?

It would be really nice to give everybody on the planet a new Rolls-Royce, too, but we don’t have the money. Sometimes, you just don’t have the money. Especially to give to the one proven most wasteful entity in the country.

No Thanks.

Wheat Williams

August 28th, 2009
7:35 am

No, Bob, not like they have in Canada, where private healthcare and private insurance are illegal.

What the President is proposing is a system like they have in England, France and Germany, where private healthcare and private insurance, for those who can afford it, exist side-by-side with a government-run insurance and healthcare program that people with lesser means pay for as an alternative.

Ken

August 28th, 2009
7:37 am

Millions of Americans can’t buy a house. So, Gandhi, should the government provide a house to these people… most of whom are chronically unemployed or unemployable, have bad habits with money, etc? When I was younger, I did not have any health insurance. When I needed a doctor, I went to one and paid in cash… and generally kept myself in good health. Now that I am older, 49, married with kids and RESPONSIBLE, I have the insurance I need to get proper care. I work for a living so I can afford the insurance. Most Americans who demand free insurance also want free food stamps, and other welfare…. and these people REFUSE to be productive. Why waste health care on these people who just want to mooch off the system. Come on Gandhi, think it through.

Laura

August 28th, 2009
7:39 am

I lived in Canada for 35 years and the United States for 17. Every relative I have but 2 lives in Canada. They all love their healthcare, including my aging parents. The only complaints I hear about the Canadian healthcare system come from Americans who have never used it. I would love the United States to adopt a plan similar to the Canadian one. Canada spends about 10% of their GDP on healthcare vs 16% in the U.S. – if Canada spent that kind of money on healthcare the problems with waits etc would be eliminated. Tommy Douglas, founder of Medicare in Canada was voted the greatest Canadian several years ago. As Mr. Barr says – so many Canadians can’t be wrong.

Michael

August 28th, 2009
7:42 am

Don’t drink, don’t smoke, and don’t get in fights. That’s about all the health insurance you need.

Frank

August 28th, 2009
7:46 am

Wheat, when has our government ever had any success in running a business? never. It cannot exist side by side because private companies will not have the deep pockets and printing press which Washington uses to fund government run companies. it alters free market, period. When you taint the system in such a way it creates imbalances which eventually tilt in the governments favor, hence no longer competitive. See competition to Amtrak or the Post Office? Not really. One because its against the law and two, it wouldn’t be viable for a private company to enter that market. What makes you think healthcare is different?

When the feds took over the Mustang Ranch in Nevada…it went bankrupt! If you can’t make money selling whiskey and a$$, you’ve got no business running a business

Ramjet

August 28th, 2009
7:47 am

People who have insurance do not understand all of the complications of obtaining insurance and keeping it when your self-employed or your employer does not provide it. They just assume people who do not have it want a freebie. That may be the case with some but for most of us we are willing to pay for it however, when you are not on a group policy insurance companies extremely raise their rates if you make a claim making it unaffordable so you will not have insurance in catastropic situations. My mother got cancer and when our policy came up for renewal they raised the rate to $9,500 per month. Therefore, they may as well of cancelled us.

jj

August 28th, 2009
7:48 am

Two words that set off a red flag on this article, and make it suspect – BOB BARR (whose photo make him look like he’s hosting a theatre show on PBS ;> ). How many American’s have died during this same period, because they can’t afford, lost or can’t get coverage? NO country has a perfect system. While we may fear the Gov, how can you fear the Insurance industry sharks any less???
And where was your indignation during the previous 8 years? When we were yanked down into this black hole we find our country in? You were upset, weren’t you?

Krista

August 28th, 2009
7:50 am

Mr. Barr has a troubling grasp on math, particularly decimals. Canada has a population of 33,592,686, five per cent of which is actually 1.7 million. As a Canadian, I’ll gladly keep my universal health care, where I will always receive care at any hospital I walk in to. My insurance will never be cancelled arbitrarily, and I’ll never go bankrupt trying to pay medical bills. 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…

Former Oregonian

August 28th, 2009
7:52 am

The article in The Oregonian was very informative but completely failed to discuss the financial end of other countries medical provider systems. France’ system is completely in the red, as is Germany’s. The Danish and Czech health care systems, which are excellent, are also experiencing extreme financial difficulties. With all the rhetoric around health insurance, wouldn’t it be refreshing if the four largest insurers (Blue Cross, UnitedhealthCare, Cigna, and Aetna) acted like insurance companies and had a coast-to-coast “pool” to mitigate high claims. Affordable healthcare is completely attainable but the three components: insurers, medical facilities, and pharmaceutical companies need to stop the shell game.

Brett

August 28th, 2009
7:54 am

“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?”

More specifically, how many Americans have traveled north to obtain medical marijuana in Canada? I reckon seventeen-five is a low estimate.

George Bush

August 28th, 2009
7:57 am

nothing wrong with a little competition people…quit your whining and stop making this a upper middle and working class issue..plenty of people who have means and work get into situations where the big insurers screw them because of pre existing or major medical conditions..so stop making it a class issue ..it needs to be available ..if it was not needed it would not be on the table. Heck i wish i had thought of it during my administration

W

canadian MD

August 28th, 2009
7:57 am

As a Canadian, and a doctor, it is always amuses me to see uninformed and ideologically cramped opinions like those touted by Mr. Barr. ( for starters, 5% of the Canadian population is not 17 million people)

True, there are waiting lists to see a specialist like me. Of course, if a family physician calls me and explains that he or she is worried about their patient, I will see them without delay. (as I am doing so for two patients today). Medical need determines this, not the patient’s insurance/finacial status.

And I do see non-Canadians (Yes, Mr Barr, even Americans) though I do so with some reluctance because their insurance companies typically engage in hesitant and partial and grudging re-imbursement. For a Canadian citizen, I bill a government agency and am reimbursed within two weeks for the full amount 98% of the time. (Telling this to an American MD often causes their jaw to drop).

As with any system, there are problems with single-payer systems (and some solutions, like private MRI labs, have existed side by side with the single payer system) and physicians and patients have to work toward pressuring government to make it a better system. True, we don’t have a lot of what americans have, but this includes medical bankruptcies, a growing underclass of working uninsured, an abysmal infant mortality rate and a system where administrative costs are more than double those in Canada.

But don’t worry Mr. Barr, I can’t see meaningful reform coming to the US. There is simply too much money to be made, (money that could go towards healthcare of your citizens will instead be funnelled into profits). That’s fine. That’s your country’s choice. But I can’t imagine having the same debate about your military that you are having abouut healthcare, suggesting taking control away from government and letting the free market run things (hello Blackwater), letting big corporations make the little decisions that will maximize profit off your soldiers. Most americans would see the harm in that, would say that the military is too important to let that happen, that it symbolizes something vital about America and that America’s security is not worth the tradeoff for a few (trillion) dollars of petential profit.

Well, most Canadians feel the same way about healthcare. Respect that.

Now excuse me, I have to get to work.

Dean

August 28th, 2009
7:58 am

Both health care systems are about to get a massive ’stress test’ with H1N1 creeping over us day by day – http://thintheherd.info/index.php?board=2.0
One thing they are not considering is that all US doctors would agree to keep working. The ones I have spoken with said they would quit if the rules changed this much. Many I have met have side businesses they can put all their time into.

jesuschristsuperstar

August 28th, 2009
7:59 am

What is the source of the statistics that support your claim of “virtually” no wait time to see a specialist here in the US? I have personally had to wait weeks and months to see specialists after visiting a primary care doctor. So provide the actual statistics and I’ll figure out what I’m doing wrong, or stop making stuff up.

hryder

August 28th, 2009
8:02 am

Survival of the fittest. Follow the terms of a health insurance policy and you will remain insured and treated with specified financial obligations paid by the insurer. Do not adhere to the terms of the policy and you have problems. One of the proposals floated nationally was cost effectiveness based on the individuals age in order to receive the most effective procedure. Too old, you receive a less effective treatment and die earlier then medically necessary. Unless, of course, you are Ted Kenneddy.

Michael Smith

August 28th, 2009
8:03 am

DeborahinAthens wrote:

Believe me, if the government deregulates the insurance industry and lets insurance companies operate across state lines (the Republicans favorite healthcare reform plan), they will not lower premiums, they will raise them. Why? It is in their best interests to do so.

Utter nonsense. Companies in a free market can’t raise their prices arbitrarily. If they do, their competitors will take away their business. This is why Delta Airlines doesn’t solve all of its financial problems by just tripling the prices of its flights — this is why General Motors couldn’t return to profitability by just deciding to charge double for a Chevrolet automobile — this is why the prices in relatively unregulated markets, like, for instance, consumer electronics, continue to FALL.

The notion that government regulation is necessary to keep businesses from raising their prices at will is pure insanity — it’s refuted by things you see with your own eyes, every day. Good lord, if there are no competition-imposed limits to prices — absent government regulation — why isn’t gasoline $100 per gallon?

And as far as insurance companies refusing to cover pre-existing conditions, it is their absolute right to do so — just like it is your absolute right to seek better coverage elsewhere if you don’t like the terms and conditions they are offering.

But what you want is the ability to avoid the expenses of having a disease like diabetes and Parkinson’s by having everyone else forced to pay higher insurance premiums to cover YOUR costs — essentially, you are in favor of the legalized looting of others to pay your doctor bills. Nothing on earth justifies the notion that any one person is entitled to have their doctor bills paid by confiscating the fruits of another man’s labor.

She also wrote:

We only have to look at the deregulation of the power companies and gas companies to see what the effects are. Remember Enron, anyone? Enron could not have even existed if that industry had not been deregulated.

More nonsense! In the first place, the “power and gas companies” were never “deregulated’. Their prices are still set by state governments and they are still protected from competition by state laws. In the second place, the Enron fraud was based largely on its use of “mark-to-market” accounting principles, which were specifically approved by the government regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission. So far from preventing the Enron fraud, the government regulators gave it the go ahead.

You’ve been duped and brainwashed into regurgitating leftist talking points on cue. You’ve allowed yourself to become a mindless little “useful idiot” for looters of the left.

Stuart

August 28th, 2009
8:09 am

Yeah, that’s right, Ken. Everybody that wants a public policy doesn’t wanna work, just wants food stamps, and is irresponsible with money. Well, let me explain something to you, Ken, and I’ll try not to use big words. I have worked since I was 13 years old, and have supported myself since 18. I have always paid taxes, and always had insurance. Then, at the age of 46, I was laid off (you know, like all the lazy auto workers, steel workers, construction workers, etc, etc. have been) and paid about $700 a month for Cobra. That’s right, I paid that while I was still trying to pay my other bills with what money I had saved. After the Cobra ran out, I was dropped from my insurance company, the one I’d been with for 10 years, because I had type 2 diabetes. Forget the fact I run, eat right, don’t smoke, work out regularly. And I got the same rejection pretty much across the board. Right now, if I had a major illness or accident, I can pretty much kiss my house and what little is left of my IRA goodbye. And there’s my mom, who works for a company that hires a lot of people for just under 32 hours a week so they don’t have to pay benefits. Until Medicare kicked in…you know, that Nazi/Socialist/Communist health plan that I’m sure none of your relatives take advantage of, her insurance cost her more than her rent. My mom, who worked full-time when my sister and I were growing up, did so from 1963 until 2004. And for what it’s worth, I know a lot of people from Canada, and in Europe, none of whom have any complaints about their healthcare, nor can they understand why we have to pay for it. But I’m sure nobody in Canada or Europe, nor anybody that thinks healthcare should be affordable, or available to people who need it, works as hard or knows as much as you.

Red

August 28th, 2009
8:10 am

What a lot of people fail to realize is that public option will become public mandated by the government. Obama has even said that he wants the public option to eventually replace all private health insurance. With the way it is currently written I will not have a choice when I change jobs. I either take something similar to what I have now by choosing from a list of government approved insurance providers or go on the public option, even if my new job offers better coverage. Health insurance is not a right, the only rights we have were in the Bill of Rights and health insurance was not in it!

Greg

August 28th, 2009
8:13 am

My personal experience is that Canadians that I know personally tell me they prefer their system to the US system. Some of the earlier posts reinforce my belief in the American legal system where we do not allow hearsay evidence. My advice is to seek out the opinions of our neighbors to the north rather than American’s interpretations.
By the way quite a few Americans are already going to India, Panama, Costa Rica for affordable medical procedures.

kitty

August 28th, 2009
8:16 am

michaelsmith, you are obviously healthy and have never had your insurance rates raised so you can’t afford them. Look at the post above where the mother in law got cancer and her rate went up to 9500 per month. A free market only works when you can decide not to buy the product. When you have cancer if you do that you die. Health and free market do not work together as well as your little dream world thinks.

When you get cancer and can’t work and have no health insurance get back to me…of course, that will be when your retirement money is completely gone and you are in Stage 4. Cheers.

Homer

August 28th, 2009
8:17 am

Because the few can’t get affordable healthcare the many have to suffer? This is crazy like the Democratic proposal. Healthcare needs overhaul not rebuilding like the government option. As one doctor said, where are we going to get the new doctors for the additional 50 million which is actually around 14 million which 20% can buy insurance but choose not too.

jj

August 28th, 2009
8:18 am

It is not uncommon at all to wait a month to see a specialist. I have insurance, and last week was told a problem I have ‘may be cancer’. When is my next appt? October 12! 6 weeks of waiting – and wondering. Maybe Bob can walk in and be seen, but not normal people. Why do you think they tell you to make an appt for your next physical a year early? Because it takes a long time to get one later, when the doc is trying to fit in more urgent patients.
Universal health care will save money. Like dental checkups, which insurers like you to have, regular checkups save huge sums of money down the road, and keep people out of the pricey ER.
Thank you ‘Ca MD’, for the real info. There is so much rumors and distortions shouted about, you would almost think this is about getting the ‘party of NO’ back in power in 2010, rather than proper health care. Mob hysteria rules once again…

bobo

August 28th, 2009
8:18 am

Enter your comments here

Les Miles

August 28th, 2009
8:19 am

Really Bob? 17,500? Not exactly a representative sample is it? Personally I have never met a Canadian that would trade their health care for ours. Ever.

Thomas

August 28th, 2009
8:19 am

I go to my Dr. and he requests me to get tests for normal physical exam, I should be able to choose where I want the tests administered and which merchant I want to support. But my Insurance Company says that if you do not use our listed Labs, which are miles away from my preference, we will only pay 20% of the bill. So now I have no choice but to travel many miles for testing that could have been done within walking distance from the Drs. office. Makes me wonder who is on whose side? This is the USA where Insurance companies have become the outlaws.

don'tcare

August 28th, 2009
8:19 am

The only Americans who can’t get health care are already dead.

Murray County Indian

August 28th, 2009
8:21 am

Liberals made it rain out my football practice yesterday and they broke into my house and clogged my toilet! Stupid liberals!

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.

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 28th, 2009
8:21 am

some 17,500 Canadian have come to the U.S. to receive health care

What about the other 33+ million Canadians? Granted I don’t know that many Canadians but the ones I do know don’t seem to have a problem with their system. They usually ask me, “How can the richest country in the world have such a mess?”

As for choice, those who have insurance through their employers actually have very little choice. The company makes it for you.

Michael

August 28th, 2009
8:21 am

Again with the myth of doctors leaving practice if this happens, or if tort reform doesn’t happen. Believe me, those in medical school want them to quit rather than hanging on until they are 70 yrs old.

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 28th, 2009
8:22 am

*seem to have no problem…I need an editor I think.

GTMike

August 28th, 2009
8:25 am

Hmmm, Medicare…bankrupt. Social Security…bankrupt. Deficit projections without single payer health care plans…9 trillion dollars. Economy…..stinks. Spending by governments in the US on non-defense programs? Under JFK…19% of GDP. Under Obama, 39% of GDP. That’s 20% of our annual GDP taken out of the private sector where it grows jobs and fuels future employment, diverted to primarily welfare type programs of one kind or another.

We may be the richest country in the world, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t bankrupt it as surely as the individual who continuously overspends their income. Socialists have NO idea how the economy grows long term, they care only about ‘gimme, gimme, gimme’ and be damned if our children or our children’s children no longer have the economic base that we were blessed with.

Barr’s basic facts about Canadians coming to this country (rather than vice versa) remains true and unrefuted by any of your arguments. They come primarily for what the Canadian health care system defines as “elective’ procedures.

Who is John Galt?

Les Miles

August 28th, 2009
8:25 am

And jj is spot on. My wife had a biopsy for possible breast cancer almost 2 months ago and has yet to get the result. We wait NOW. It’s time to cut the BS surrounding this issue. Insurance company beauracrats are making life and death decisions for people everyday because of their bottom line. Want the plug pulled on “grandma”. Then keep trusting the present system. How many times has a doctor told families their is nothing else he can do after the insurance murderers tell him their is no more money to keep “grandma” alive. The ignorance and pure naivete of the opposition to HC reform is appalling.

Cayce

August 28th, 2009
8:27 am

Sorry. This is bogus. I lived in Canada for 2 years and they scoffed at the very idea of an American style health care system. The only thing they came to America for was voluntary surgery, things like plastic surgery. The wait for basic care is actually no longer than it is here (when was the last time you tried to get an appointment with a new primary care physician?).

Talk to some Canadians before you make these kinds of statements. I never met a single one who would change their system for ours.

Trey

August 28th, 2009
8:31 am

I am not a Republican or Democrat, and I do not support Government funded health care. We need as little Government in our life as possible, becuase remember Government funded programs fail, look at public education, social security and welfare. Even if you can’t afford health care, a hospital can’t deny you treatment if you are sick and also there are places like Grady.

Trey

August 28th, 2009
8:33 am

Les Miles, they contact you if something is wrong but if nothing is wrong then there is no need.

Trey

August 28th, 2009
8:34 am

Also, look at Government funded neighborhoods called projects they are a complete failure.

bob

August 28th, 2009
8:38 am

Deborah in athens, If you want to quote an arm of the United Nations, The world Health Organization, please post the guidelines they use to determine the rankings.

Trey

August 28th, 2009
8:40 am

“True democracy is nothing more than mob rule, when 51% of the population takes away the rights of the other 49%” Thomas Jefferson

This is true and we should vote whether or not for health care and if 51% of the population wants public health care, then why not try it? I don’t like the idea but if 51% wants it then that is democracy and that is what the Founding Fathers would want.

bob

August 28th, 2009
8:40 am

Cayce, were you in Canada when the Supreme court ruled to allow private clinics to open ? These clinics were not for boob jobs and the gov fought their opening because they did not want competition. I think it was 05.

In the Know

August 28th, 2009
8:40 am

Liberalism is a disease – there are several that have posted this morning on this blog that have a terminal case of it. Tis sad, but we need to rid the world of liberalism – anyone that is a liberal is a loser anyway and won’t be missed. We should ship all the liberals in the world to the South Pole. Man, that would be just terrific if we could make that happen.

Trey

August 28th, 2009
8:41 am

Just keep Government funded abortions out of the Public heath care. If someone wants an abortion then that should be from their own pocket.

Greg

August 28th, 2009
8:42 am

Thankfully the government does do a good job is some areas. National security and our military forces are the strongest of any civilization, A large part of our public lands including our national parks and most of the states of Alaska and Nevada have been important investments by our country. We also have a great transportation system. Well maybe not in Atlanta!

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.

DirtyDawg

August 28th, 2009
9:43 am

Hey BOB, where do you get your insurance? Through the Cox folks? You got a company of your own that you purchase stuff through (and write it off)? If you are on your own, then you probably pay between $15 and $20 thousand a year – and that’s if you don’t have any major illnesses or surgeries. Well, good luck on being able to keep that when the paper’s out of business and the market for your prejudice-filled diatribes dries up. Maybe, and I don’t know, or care, how old you are, you’ll be able to make it to Medicare – then you’ll only have to hope that the cost of the drugs you take will have finally been ‘negotiated’ down to an affordable level. Of course, and what am I thinking, as a Congressman – even if for only a short while – you probably sacked away tons of ‘campaign contributions’, maybe even a promise from some health-care insurance company to provide you and yours coverage for life if you’ll just ‘vote for (or against) this one little thing’. I’d really be curious what motivates you BOB, is it Galbraith’s observation that Conservatism is simply the search for a better excuse for selfishness? Or do you have other financial incentives – beyond just not willing to pay what someone else determines is ‘your fair share’ of taxes. Regardless, whatever your motivations they sure ain’t because you care about others – nosiree, that’s not what moves you, is it BOB?

It really does my heart good to read the reaction ‘Conservatives’ have when they find out that they are in the fix that they laughed at for so long about all those others that could ‘just go to Grady’ when they have a problem. When the shoe’s on your foot, it seems a little tight, don’t it?

Dave

August 28th, 2009
9:44 am

We’re in this fix because we have been conditioned that someone else should pay for our healthcare/health insurance. Most of us expect the company we work for to pay for it because back around WW2 companies were not permitted to raise wages so they began offering incentives like health insurance to attract employees. It was the government that prohibited the raises, so you could say that the government caused all of this to begin with. If we had all grown up with the idea that we were responsible for our own health care/health insurance (like auto insurance, home insurance, etc) we would not be having this conversation. Why is it that so many people have no problem spending hundreds a month on cell phones, cable TV, hair and nails, etc, but are so indignant about having to pay for their own doctor visits?

Atlanta Native

August 28th, 2009
9:44 am

Of course Americans buy prescription drugs from Canada. The Canadian taxpayers are footing the majority of the bill for them.

If Canadian Healthcare is so good, why is it the outgoing head of the program and the ingoing head agree on one thing: the system is broken and needs overhaul?

Jennifer

August 28th, 2009
9:44 am

Californication, can you give more detail on the Prime Minister’s wife coming here for treatment?

David Chastain

August 28th, 2009
9:46 am

Wait Times in Canada – Government committed to investing $4.5 billion over the next six years, beginning in 2004-05, in the Wait Times Reduction Fund.

“The Wait Times Reduction Fund will augment existing provincial and territorial investments and assist jurisdictions in their diverse initiatives to reduce wait times. This Fund will primarily be used for jurisdictional priorities such as training and hiring more health professionals, clearing backlogs, building capacity for regional centres of excellence, expanding appropriate ambulatory and community care programs and/or tools to manage wait times.”

Link: http://snurl.com/rghkk

Tracy

August 28th, 2009
9:46 am

“five percent of the population waiting to get a primary care physician (about 17 million Canadians)”
Five percent of Canada’s population is 1.7 million. An error of this sort makes it difficult to trust the other figures in the article.

Michael Smith

August 28th, 2009
9:48 am

Evidently off his meds, “Dual Citizen” asserted:

DEMAND IT PEOPLE, IT IS A RIGHT IN ALL BUT ONE CIVILIZED COUNTRY…..THIS ONE!!!!!!

A right to healthcare? Since healthcare is a product of human labor — like all the goods and services we enjoy — a “right” to healthcare is the claim to a right to another man’s labor. It is the claim that someone else must labor — involuntarily, i.e. whether they like it or not — for your benefit.

But there can be no such thing as the right to another man’s labor — because there is no such thing as any sort of right to involuntary servitude on the part of others.

The Lemmer

August 28th, 2009
9:48 am

No one here (unless I missed it) is talking about the real problem. Healthcare costs in this country will be lowered when Congress passes a powerful TORT REFORM LAW!!!

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen since the American Association of Justice (what a b.s. name for a bunch of plaintiff’s attorneys) is a lobbying heavyweight and continues to grease the palms of any Dem on the Hill.

Doctors can afford to be doctors under the current sue-your-butt-in-a-flash system.

What say you?

Les Miles

August 28th, 2009
9:49 am

JackLeg, could it be that the long gone jobs are not coming back and that the ones that replace them will not provide the income of the ones lost. Do you think that prices for essential items such as health care will decrease proportionally? Under the present system JackLeg? Do you trust the benevelancy of today’s insurance industry to give up such a large percentage of their profits for the common good? Do you think they are going to do as others have had to do? Trim the fat, give up bonuses, etc?

What is getting lost in this argument is that it is COST that is the problem. And nothing prior to this debate was doing anything to provide a catalyst for the profiteers in the present system to lower cost. The best possible solution is to provide a competitor that the private insurance monolith can’t drive out of the market.

Hoping For Rational Debate

August 28th, 2009
9:50 am

Wealthy folks who build expensive homes on the beach who can’t get insurance for those expensive homes because insurance companies know that it would be a sucker bet on their part, what do they do? They get insurance from the government of the good ole USofA who sees fit to provide special insurance for rich people to have fancy homes where nature says they should not be. But people who can’t get health care coverage because insurance companies only want to insure healthy people, what do they do? They just die for the most part. Anyone who thinks that is fair is beyond heartless IMO.

Ry

August 28th, 2009
9:53 am

TG – The current proposal overall does not promote a single payer system directly. However, there are parts of the bill that very much support that and in looking to the future, the impact of the bill is projected to lead to a government run system. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you actually read the bill…oh wait that campaign promise from Obama about transparency and the general public having a chance to read bills before they are voted on never happened. Why do you think he wanted to rush the bill through so quickly? Also, healthcare is not the most important issue in this country at this time. It is the economy and jobs. If the approximately 15 million people who can’t afford health insurance had a job, then guess what they could afford it. Obama loves to say that there are 47 million uninsured in this country. However, a large portion of those can afford health insurance and choose not to get it. Why should tax payers foot the bill for those who simply choose not to buy insurance even though they can afford it? That is part of the problem, people do not want to take responsibility for themselves and want the government to pay for everything, even if it means lower quality care. Social Security is bankrupt, Medicare is bankrupt, the postal service is bankrupt. Why does anyone think the government can provide quality healthcare without going bankrupt?

Dale

August 28th, 2009
9:55 am

Hoping for Rational Debate…so you are saying that it is wrong for the govt to provide insurance for the folks on the beach, but they should provide insurance for another segment of the population? I say two wrongs don’t make a right and I say govt doesn’t belong in the insurance business period!

Trey

August 28th, 2009
9:58 am

Atlanta Native, actually he has every right to talk against the plans of the Government, as an American if he does not like something the Constitution provides him the right to disagree and talk about the Government’s plans.

Citizen

August 28th, 2009
10:01 am

DeborahinAthens I have known plenty of Canadians that did not like their healthcare. My parents worked for Nortel who originated in Canada. Healthcare is one of the reason they put in for transfers down here and did not go back once Nortel tanked. Teh waits and the approvals were all to much.

Also lets just assume that Germany or the UK has better healthcare (not that they do) Europe nationalize the passenger rail industry and you have clean safe bullet trains crossing the continent. The US does the same and we have Amtrak. The politicans will make sure we get crap pork barrel picked coverage just as we do under medicare and the VA.

If you wnat to lower costs pass tort reform.

If you want shorter lines for Emergency care tighten border control and ship the illegals back.

Yurtle_the_turtle

August 28th, 2009
10:01 am

Gail

I understand and hear you very well. I have had several shoulder dislocations and have had to pay them myself, although I had BCBS also. And dental “insurance” is a joke. My wife’s teeth cost us $5,000 this year. We’re paying off these medical bills ourselves and I’m tired of doing it as I pay BCBS every month out of my pay check. I agree something needs to get done. I blame Democrats and Republicans, but especially Democrats for their liberal mind set of paying healthcare for EVERYONE, including illegal aliens. However, I truly believe that the answer is NOT Socialism/Communism. Tort reform and insurance reform is a better answer than Socialism. I don’t want to pay for someone’s poor health choices that require medical attention. I try to keep my health up with regular exercise and choosing not to smoke or drink excessively. I see many overweight people who practice no restraint on eating/drinking and then never visit a gym or walk for health. Why should I pay for their negligence? So, I don’t want to pay for “ALL”, just for my family and myself.

Atlanta Native

August 28th, 2009
10:02 am

Dave – they were educated by babyboomers. That’s why. They have been indoctrinated since they were young to rely on government. I remember the amazing switch in what I was taught when my parents yanked my arrogant, in-trouble behind out of public high school and sent me to Catholic school. Suddenly things were my responsibility. I hated at the time, but I am so glad that they did it, or I may have ended up like my peers in public school, several of which I can see at local bars every day if I wish!

Trey

August 28th, 2009
10:04 am

Les Miles, I can’t see anything good out of free health care, but we should have a majority vote as that is true democracy and then if the ones who want free health care win we can try their system for a while.

The Lemmer

August 28th, 2009
10:05 am

Michael is correct. It’s troubling enough that I, along with other working people, financially support thousands of teenage baby factories. Why should we be forced to pay for their healthcare?

Trey

August 28th, 2009
10:06 am

Exactly, public school is a complete failure, Atlanta Native.

jconservative

August 28th, 2009
10:11 am

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

Bob, what do you think we have here? Annual report from the Director of CMS……..
“CMS is the largest purchaser of health care in the United States, serving about 92 million Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) beneficiaries. ”

Food for thought.

booger

August 28th, 2009
10:13 am

Once again this debate is avoiding the central issue. WE CANNOT AFFORD THIS. Our country is out of money, and the wonderful medicare system we already have will be broke by 2016, followed close behind by social security.

Sean

August 28th, 2009
10:15 am

FYI.. I think your math is wrong Bob… 35 million people live in Canada. 5% of 35million = 1.75 million. It does not equal 17 million.

Atlanta Native

August 28th, 2009
10:15 am

By the way, one of my best friends, who went to the same public school I did is working for NASA in a very high level position and is the minister of his own church. So, yes, one can get an excellent education if one wants to and those of you who get upset at my comment and point to their or their children’s success, I am happy for them. It still does not wash away the indoctrination that takes place from a young age. I remember when my nephew wrote an essay in high school and was given it back because his opinion was wrong! He was told to rewrite it from the opposite opinion.

gloom and doomer

August 28th, 2009
10:15 am

Having lived and worked in Europe for a very long time as an ex-pat, I thought the medical care offered there was very good. I paid 240 euros a month as my share, and my employer matched it.

Before I returned to the states, I had my knee worked on and repaired, a pre-existing condition. Deductible to me? Nothing. Cash out of pocket? Zip. A year or so before that, I had a separated retina which was lasered closed. During the exam, they discovered a congenital defect in both eyes (aka “pre-existing condition” in the states) and they mended these in the course of the surgery. Cost to me? Nothing. At the same time, a friend of mine here locally also had a separated retina and was handled in Atlanta. The result? Almost 8 grand out of pocket as I recall to cover her share, and she now has less than 60% vision in that eye as well as clouding.

At the time, I paid a maximum of 8 euros for ANY prescription written by my Dr. for me. My girlfriend recently had to buy some medication prescribed by her doctor, and her co-pay was **$90**. The cost of the medicine without her insurance would have been $167. She recently flew to europe and took her new prescription with her, which they filled there with no problem. Since it was a non-standard prescription (that means it wasn’t a doctor in country that wrote it) she had to pay extra instead of the usual covered price. Horror or horrors!! It cost her 12 whole euros, or about $18!!!

There are lots of other stories I know about concerning medical coverage in europe, but they would probably be wasted on the twin synapse thinking that is so prevalent from many on this blog commentary as evidenced with comments that have no more substance and whose platform consists of no more than “Merkuh – luv it or leave it!!” no matter what the topic.

Oh, I can hear those banjos firing up now!!

MC

August 28th, 2009
10:16 am

Laura, you seem to have a different view of the Canadian Medical situation than Dr. Anne Doig, the incoming President of the Canadian Medical Association. Dr. Doig states very clearly that the Canadian system is imploding. Your view also seems to differ a lot from that of two of my Canadian friends who recently traveled to the U.S. for urgent surgery because they could not be scheduled soon enough in Canada. Perhaps you have also not read The Castonguay Report by Claude Castonguay, the father of Quebec Medicare.

Dr. R

August 28th, 2009
10:26 am

Those who favor single-payer nationalized health care can make the case all they want about how practical, cost-effective, efficient and fair it might be. Surely there is plenty of evidence to the contrary, and we can have the debate on that basis. But even if I were convinced that such a system were superior, I would oppose it. I do not want to live my life depending on government to provide my basic needs that I cannot provide for myself. Government should print money, pave the roads, ensure public safety and pretty much get out of my life after that. When I turn 65, I’m going to have to decide how to get around using Medicare and Social Security, programs that I have paid into all my life but do not support otherwise. I’m hoping I have enough of a nest egg to say “no, thank you.” I don’t think my children and others of their generation should pay their hard-earned tax money for my subsistence, any more than I care to do so now. I am an American and I believe in liberty, not “it takes a village.” I don’t want charity from anyone. If I can’t provide it for myself, I will do without. And that goes for health care as well. I would rather perish a free man than exist as a ward of the state.

Melissa

August 28th, 2009
10:29 am

Dear Frank: See competition to Amtrak or the Post Office? Not really. One because its against the law and two, it wouldn’t be viable for a private company to enter that market.

FYI – There is mass competition with Amtrak and the USPS: Greyhound and other ground and air based transportation services, owned by Laidlaw, a Canandian based publicly traded corporation. UPS and FedEx compete against the USPS quite successfully. It is not against the law for a private company to compete with a Government owned corporation. There are plenty of companies that currently compete in both the private sector of transportation and postal services.

ryanv

August 28th, 2009
10:29 am

Why are folks discussing a single payer system? It’s not on the table. You can’t argue against the current plan so you toss red herrings. Let’s just get the health care plan in without the repubs. Lord knows they didn’t care if we were with them. Show some backbone, get it passed, and move on.

ncgreybr

August 28th, 2009
10:31 am

The population of Canada is about 34,000,000. 17,500 came to the US for medical care. That is about one in every 2,000 who is obviously not satisfied with Canadian healthcare.

Are 1,999 out of 2,000 Americans satisfied with American healthcare?

I guess I must have missed the part about the fact that we are REQUIRED to have Canadian healthcare. Why not take the best ideas from Canada, the best from England, the best from Japan and make our OWN healthcare system?

lovelyliz

August 28th, 2009
10:37 am

How wrong can 1.5 million Americans be? Yes, that’sillion.

In August 2008 Deliotte Consulting estimated that 1.5 milion Americans that year were traveling to other countries for medical procedures and not all of them are for breast implants. They estimate that in the next decade this number would increase 10 fold.

Per capita, that’s a whole lot higher than the number of Canadians coming to the US.

Chris Salzmann

August 28th, 2009
10:41 am

Bob, thousands of Americans travel to India, Mexico etc. to get access to reasonably priced health care. BTW, my wife had to wait 2 months to see a specialist here in Atlanta. Yeah, I’m sure Canadians travel over here, and I’m sure everyone of them paid in cash. Will that change here with the introduction of health care insurance reforms? Especially since these reforms will provide a government option for those who are already NOT INSURED or UNDER-INSURED. Most Americans will not know the difference. Sure, there will me mandates requiring insurance companies to allow for pre-existing conditions. How’s that a bad thing? That mandate already exists for employer provided health insurance plans.

Your talk about a single payer government controlled system simply does not make any sense since that isn’t going to happen here. Private insurance companies will continue to operate, with certain long overdue and humanitarian mandate. Lets put it this way: we are required by law to carry a certain level of insurance on our vehicles but nothing mandating that for human beings.

Lastly Bob, here’s a little survey about what our neighbors up in the North feel about their health care system. To summarize, the poll, by Angus Reid Strategies, found that 65 percent of Canadians have a “very positive” or “moderately positive” impression of single-payer health care in their country. A whopping 79 percent of Canadians have a negative opinion of health care in “the United States”. So with all their problems, they still don’t want our system. That should speak volumes. In fact, I’ll challenge you to show me a single poll from any of the top industrialized country where, as you call it, “socialized” medicine is practiced, that want our system. Show me a single poll!!!

The article I pulled that poll from can be found here:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/archives/175523.asp

ncgreybr

August 28th, 2009
10:42 am

We have perfect healthcare here. I had to wait for 3 weeks for a doctor’s appointment for leg pain. After I got to see him, he recommended a specialist. A month wait. After I got to see him, he recommended two hip replacements. He’ll be able to do them in January. If my insurance company doesn’t cancel me.

Now…tell me again how bad Canada is.

Trudy

August 28th, 2009
10:50 am

Population of Canada is 33,739,000. So 33,721,500 people DID NOT come to the US for health care.

Bob Barr, you are a fool.

Dr. R

August 28th, 2009
10:52 am

Mandating who private insurance companies can and can’t cover is simply going to drive prices up further. If the companies are forced to lose money on those who submit huge claims, they’ll be forced to pass those costs on to the rest of us. So much for cutting health inflation. I would not oppose a low-level public option, perhaps even funded by local municipalities instead of the feds, that gives uninsured people and the self-employed a safety net option. Such a system would be paid for with tax money, as Medicaid is now, but would not be as costly by requiring everyone to take part.

As for doctor waits here and abroad, get over it. Doctors aren’t Burger King; you don’t drive up to the window and order what you need and expect it waiting. If you’re in bad shape, go to the ER. Baby boomers and younger expect their every need to be met within seconds or they start hollering. Get over yourselves just once.

GS

August 28th, 2009
10:54 am

Why not tell us the rest of the facts, Bob? 750,000 Americans went abroad for health care in 2007. World-class hospitals and an abundance of highly trained doctors and nurses offer outstanding care that equals the best in America at far lower cost. Why don’t you mention that? Well, we know the reason. As always, your column is about ideology, not facts.

Haliburton Billionaire

August 28th, 2009
10:54 am

Please let’s not get started with this Liberal vs. Conservative debacle. Are you partisan idiots aware that BOTH PARTIES HAVE INSURANCE LOBBYIST MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS?!?! I swear partisanship will be the ultimate demise of this country. SHEEP!

Haliburton Billionaire

August 28th, 2009
11:01 am

GTMike-
Please sit down and SHUT UP. All of these ails of our country that you mentioned came under the “reign” of your beloved George W Bush. Remember there was a SURPLUS before this clown took office. No one complained when billions upon billions of dollars went toward “liberating” ANOTHER country. No one had a word to say. Now, we’re up in arms about making sure our OWN are taken care of?!?!?! For Christ’s sake DOES ANYONE SEE WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE????

WTF

August 28th, 2009
11:03 am

God forbid any of you conservative knuckleheads ever lose your livelihood and end up with some form of cancer or chronic disease or have to watch your children suffer from something like Lupus and have no medical coverage. Then you will see just how compassionate your fellow “bash any idea that isn’t a conservative idea” friends are. I’ve watched what losing coverage can do – and when you have to bury family members because insurance dictated their death by declining coverage maybe you’ll change your tune as well. The only way that any health reform with ever happen in this country is if everyone in the house and senate and white house drop their top notch lifetime coverage for them and their dependents and then deal with the bs that normal Americans deal with.

The Devil's Adversary

August 28th, 2009
11:03 am

Gee, who do I want managing my healthcare? A crooked politican or an even more crooked insurance company?

Loki in Toronto

August 28th, 2009
11:06 am

Mr. Barr – that’s just plain dumb and one-sided. From what I have read, over 1 million Americans go outside the US for healthcare every year and many of them come to Canada. I work for the government in Ontario, Canada and we have over 30 million health cards issued. We are working to cancel these and re-issue them because you know what – there are only 13 million people who live here. Many of the cards are just dead cards – but a huge number are used by Americans coming here to get free health care. And you can bet they don’t report that at the border on their return so that it becomes an official statistic.

One of the reasons that waiting times are so long here in Canada is because of Americans coming here and illegally using our health care system. No one wants to talk publicly about that because it’s an ugly truth and if Ontarians and Canadians knew the extent they would be outraged. And you can try to argue – but I know of what I speak.

So you know what – take care of your own – we can’t afford this anymore.

CJ

August 28th, 2009
11:07 am

17,500 is only 5% of the Canadian population. Using this argument, policy should be based on 5% of the population.
Well, gay people represent 10% of the population, so we all should DEFINITELY have more rights using Barr’s math!
Good grief. Go get a valid argument, would ya?

Loki in Toronto

August 28th, 2009
11:10 am

Also – 5% of Canadians would be 1.7 million, not 17 million.

jconservative

August 28th, 2009
11:17 am

Michael Smith August 28th, 2009 9:23 am

In this comment you made one of the better cases for a reform of the health care system I have read. Good job.

Look, any day now we are going to have 100 million US citizens on Medicare, Medicade & SCHIP. Then add in the veterans receiving care at VA hospitals. We will have 33% of the US population on a single payer (government) system.

So we need to do something. We will do nothing if there is not a compromise. And this is a tough climate for compromise. Both the left & the right are deeply entrenched. The center is to small to do anything on its own.

Prediction: we will be where we are today in 2012. Except that 38% of the population will be on a single payer (government) system as the baby boomers born in 1946 & 1947 become eligible for Medicare & more kids get on SCHIP.

You folks are smart enough to see where this is heading I trust?

glenn

August 28th, 2009
11:18 am

Hey Bob , how many Americans get their pharmaceuticals from Canada because they can get them so much cheaper across the border or in many instances couldn’t afford to get them in this country at all ? I bet it is much more than 17,500 . Bob the whole globe has a version of universal healthcare & most citizens in most countries are satisfied with it . Is Canada the best you can do ? I’m surprised you didn’t bring up Great Britain like all the other no answer just fear chuckleheads . Healthcare is 16 percent of our GDP now & many economists say it could hit 25 percent next decade . What is your answer ? Please enlighten me . How do you deal with an antitrust exempt healthcare provider cartel that is bleeding our system ? Enlighten me . You know very well you won’t be able to regulate them & since they are anti trust exempt competition is out of the question as well . Even you free marketers have no dog in this fight . I want to hear a realistic answer on how to deal with our healthcare crisis instead of pointing fingers at other countries .

Chris Salzmann

August 28th, 2009
11:21 am

The Lemmer August 28th, 2009 9:48 am SAID: No one here (unless I missed it) is talking about the real problem. Healthcare costs in this country will be lowered when Congress passes a powerful TORT REFORM LAW!!!

CHRIS SAYS: TORT reform will not work as currently implemented in some states. Texas is one of them and insurance costs have not gone down. What is required is what they currently have in the UK. Anyone can sue anybody but the loser incurs all the legal costs involved including legal fees paid by the defending party. This means that lawyers are a lot more selective about the cases they take on because if they lose, they along with their clients, will be responsible for all the legal fees involved. This system strongly discourages legal fishing expeditions and ambulance chasing.

Naturally, this won’t happen here since the legal lobby is well represented in Washington DC.

Obummers 1st 100 days

August 28th, 2009
11:22 am

Observations of the President’s 1st 100 Days:

1.. Offended the Queen of England

2. Bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia

3. Praised the Marxist Daniel Ortega

4. Kissed Hugo Chavez on the cheek

5. Endorsed the Socialist Evo Morales of Bolivia

6. Announced we would meet with Iranians with no pre-conditions

7. Gave away billions to AIG, also without pre-conditions

8. Expanded the bailouts

9. Insulted everyone who has ever loved a Special Olympian

10. Doubled our national debt

11. Announced a termination of the space defense system the day after the North Koreans launched an ICBM.

12. Despite the urgings of his own CIA director and the prior 42 CIA directors, released information on intelligence gathering. Announced major restrictions on interrogation techniques used on enemy combatant prisoners.

13. Accepted without public comment the fact that five of his cabinet members cheated on their taxes and two other appointees withdrew after they couldn’t take the heat.

14. Appointed a Homeland Security Chief who quickly identified as “dangers to the nation”, groups including veterans of the military, and opponents to abortion on demand, and who ordered that the wordterrorism no longer be used but instead referred to such acts as man made disasters.

15. Circled the globe so he could openly apologize for America ’s greatness.

16. Told Mexicans the violence in their country was mostly caused by illegal guns from the U.S.

17. Politicized the census by moving it into the White House from its Department of Commerce origins and announced ACORN [the organization under massive scrutiny amid allegations of election fraud] would manage the process.

18. Appointed as Attorney General the man who orchestrated the forced removal and expulsion from America to Cuba of a nine-year old whose mother died trying to bring him to a life of freedom in the United States .

19. Salutes as heroes three Navy SEALS who took down three terrorists who threatened one American life and the next day announces members of the Bush administration will likely stand trial for torturing a terrorist who had played a part in killing 3000 Americans by pouring water over his face.

20. Air Force One flew over New York City for a photo op without notifying local authorities causing widespread panic.

21. Took over the American Automobile industry and handed over 50% off to the unions [because he said he owed them].

22. Continued his drive for absolute gun control activities, thumbing his nose at the 2nd Amendment.

23. Offered travel and living subsidies in the U.S. to Hamas activists displaced from the Gaza Strip.

24. Got more airtime [TV] than Oprah Winfrey and was seldom in Washington tending to the business of State.

25. Announced the closure of enemy combatants detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba but failed to address the issue of ‘what’ to do with the 200+ prisoners currently held there. Rumors persist that they’ll be housed on U.S. soil…

Other than that, we’re doing just fine.

Only 1360 more FRIGHTENING days to go…

JSon

August 28th, 2009
11:23 am

Why do the Republicans complain on and on about how bad the governemnt is and how it can’t do anything efficiently, yet then they turn around and say that if we actually allowed a public option to compete with the corporate insurance co. plan, it would drive them out of business?

Factchecker

August 28th, 2009
11:27 am

“about 12,500 Canadians have come here for health care” – Source please? I would be inclined to induce that this figure comes either from Mr. Barr’s imagination or else it includes Canadian tourists (of which there are about 17 million each year – http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/f-2000-99-001/forecast/Data%20Tables%20for%20Country%20Forecasts.pdf).

“In Canada, get in line behind the five percent of the population waiting to get a primary care physician (about 17 million Canadians)” – Mr. Barr is obviously ignorant of even the most basic of facts. With his formula, Canada’s population would be about 340 million (35 million more than the U.S.)! Do you critics know the actual population of Canada? Might want to learn the basics before opining and ranting…

Dr. R

August 28th, 2009
11:28 am

I did have an uninsured older child involved in a health incident a few years ago. Because of his age, my insurance no longer covered him. So I made arrangements with the hospital and doctors and made payments over a period of several months. It means I gave up some luxuries like a nice vacation and eating out, but I didn’t complain. Life is not fair and no one owes us anything. As soon as you come to grips with that, you’ll find it easier to deal with the difficulties that come your way without looking around to tap someone else’s hard-earned cash. I’ll say it again: I’ll pay my own way or do without. That’s how this nation’s pioneers founded this country and I don’t need you or anyone else to bail me out of my problems now or in the future.

Kevin

August 28th, 2009
11:28 am

Around 2001, I lived in Amsterdam. I woke up one morning to find my jaw had completely locked up– I have minor TMJ issue. I couldn’t open my mouth more than 1/2 inch, and I was in terrible pain.

In the Netherlands, you must see your “family physician” before seeing ANY specialist. I didn’t have a family doc there. I found a maxilio-facial specialist, and went to see him without an appointment. I asked the receptionist if I could see the doc. “Not without a referral”, I was told. I offered to pay cash, on the spot, to see the doc. Her response? “That is not possible.” You literally cannot buy private care in the Netherlands.

I flew to London where I found a private physician that would see me.

For this reason, I will NEVER support a government healthcare plan. It may start as an “option” but will surely evolve into a system similar to the one I endured.

Dr. R

August 28th, 2009
11:34 am

Private insurance companies can compete with a public option at some level, but over time their loss of profits in the quest to be competitive will drive manhy out of business, cutting the number of choices available. For sure, businesses will no longer offer insurance benefits; as soon as the government does so, they will decide to back out (since they’ll be paying taxes on the public plan as well) and let their employees go on the public dole. No sense in them footing the bill for the benefit if their workers can get it elsewhere. My preference would be for all entitlements — health, retirement, etc. — to be means tested and provided only to the indigent and preferrably on a temporary basis, like food stamps and welfare. I don’t want to leave people hungry and sick on the streets, and I’m willing to pay a certain amount in taxes for that. What I don’t want is an absence of choices and a one-size-fits-all govt. plan that endentures me for life. It’s true that such a choice is now not on the table, and I applaud that. But I think it’s just a matter of time befcore it happens because most Americans, particularly those of the self-indulgent generations ages 60 and younger, believe their security and well-being takes precedence over their freedom and independence. Those of my ilk will be but a voice in the wilderness (and that’s probably where I’ll be, sure enough, to get away from you bleeding heart do-gooders and your kumbaya approach to life).

JSon

August 28th, 2009
11:35 am

Yes, Dr. R, Life can be unfair. So if a public plan passes that would help the less fortunate, I hope you won’ t mind.

Les Miles

August 28th, 2009
11:44 am

The Barr Code
17,500 Canadians Can’t Be Wrong

6:00 am August 28, 2009, by Bob Barr
(more…)

* ShareThis
* Print

152 comments Add your comment

DirtyDawg

August 28th, 2009
9:43 am

Hey BOB, where do you get your insurance? Through the Cox folks? You got a company of your own that you purchase stuff through (and write it off)? If you are on your own, then you probably pay between $15 and $20 thousand a year – and that’s if you don’t have any major illnesses or surgeries. Well, good luck on being able to keep that when the paper’s out of business and the market for your prejudice-filled diatribes dries up. Maybe, and I don’t know, or care, how old you are, you’ll be able to make it to Medicare – then you’ll only have to hope that the cost of the drugs you take will have finally been ‘negotiated’ down to an affordable level. Of course, and what am I thinking, as a Congressman – even if for only a short while – you probably sacked away tons of ‘campaign contributions’, maybe even a promise from some health-care insurance company to provide you and yours coverage for life if you’ll just ‘vote for (or against) this one little thing’. I’d really be curious what motivates you BOB, is it Galbraith’s observation that Conservatism is simply the search for a better excuse for selfishness? Or do you have other financial incentives – beyond just not willing to pay what someone else determines is ‘your fair share’ of taxes. Regardless, whatever your motivations they sure ain’t because you care about others – nosiree, that’s not what moves you, is it BOB?

It really does my heart good to read the reaction ‘Conservatives’ have when they find out that they are in the fix that they laughed at for so long about all those others that could ‘just go to Grady’ when they have a problem. When the shoe’s on your foot, it seems a little tight, don’t it?

* Link
* Report this comment

Dave

August 28th, 2009
9:44 am

We’re in this fix because we have been conditioned that someone else should pay for our healthcare/health insurance. Most of us expect the company we work for to pay for it because back around WW2 companies were not permitted to raise wages so they began offering incentives like health insurance to attract employees. It was the government that prohibited the raises, so you could say that the government caused all of this to begin with. If we had all grown up with the idea that we were responsible for our own health care/health insurance (like auto insurance, home insurance, etc) we would not be having this conversation. Why is it that so many people have no problem spending hundreds a month on cell phones, cable TV, hair and nails, etc, but are so indignant about having to pay for their own doctor visits?

* Link
* Report this comment

Atlanta Native

August 28th, 2009
9:44 am

Of course Americans buy prescription drugs from Canada. The Canadian taxpayers are footing the majority of the bill for them.

If Canadian Healthcare is so good, why is it the outgoing head of the program and the ingoing head agree on one thing: the system is broken and needs overhaul?

* Link
* Report this comment

Jennifer

August 28th, 2009
9:44 am

Californication, can you give more detail on the Prime Minister’s wife coming here for treatment?

* Link
* Report this comment

David Chastain

August 28th, 2009
9:46 am

Wait Times in Canada – Government committed to investing $4.5 billion over the next six years, beginning in 2004-05, in the Wait Times Reduction Fund.

“The Wait Times Reduction Fund will augment existing provincial and territorial investments and assist jurisdictions in their diverse initiatives to reduce wait times. This Fund will primarily be used for jurisdictional priorities such as training and hiring more health professionals, clearing backlogs, building capacity for regional centres of excellence, expanding appropriate ambulatory and community care programs and/or tools to manage wait times.”

Link: http://snurl.com/rghkk

* Link
* Report this comment

Tracy

August 28th, 2009
9:46 am

“five percent of the population waiting to get a primary care physician (about 17 million Canadians)”
Five percent of Canada’s population is 1.7 million. An error of this sort makes it difficult to trust the other figures in the article.

* Link
* Report this comment

Michael Smith

August 28th, 2009
9:48 am

Evidently off his meds, “Dual Citizen” asserted:

DEMAND IT PEOPLE, IT IS A RIGHT IN ALL BUT ONE CIVILIZED COUNTRY…..THIS ONE!!!!!!

A right to healthcare? Since healthcare is a product of human labor — like all the goods and services we enjoy — a “right” to healthcare is the claim to a right to another man’s labor. It is the claim that someone else must labor — involuntarily, i.e. whether they like it or not — for your benefit.

But there can be no such thing as the right to another man’s labor — because there is no such thing as any sort of right to involuntary servitude on the part of others.

* Link
* Report this comment

The Lemmer

August 28th, 2009
9:48 am

No one here (unless I missed it) is talking about the real problem. Healthcare costs in this country will be lowered when Congress passes a powerful TORT REFORM LAW!!!

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen since the American Association of Justice (what a b.s. name for a bunch of plaintiff’s attorneys) is a lobbying heavyweight and continues to grease the palms of any Dem on the Hill.

Doctors can afford to be doctors under the current sue-your-butt-in-a-flash system.

What say you?

* Link
* Report this comment

Les Miles

August 28th, 2009
9:49 am

JackLeg, could it be that the long gone jobs are not coming back and that the ones that replace them will not provide the income of the ones lost. Do you think that prices for essential items such as health care will decrease proportionally? Under the present system JackLeg? Do you trust the benevelancy of today’s insurance industry to give up such a large percentage of their profits for the common good? Do you think they are going to do as others have had to do? Trim the fat, give up bonuses, etc?

What is getting lost in this argument is that it is COST that is the problem. And nothing prior to this debate was doing anything to provide a catalyst for the profiteers in the present system to lower cost. The best possible solution is to provide a competitor that the private insurance monolith can’t drive out of the market.

* Link
* Report this comment

Hoping For Rational Debate

August 28th, 2009
9:50 am

Wealthy folks who build expensive homes on the beach who can’t get insurance for those expensive homes because insurance companies know that it would be a sucker bet on their part, what do they do? They get insurance from the government of the good ole USofA who sees fit to provide special insurance for rich people to have fancy homes where nature says they should not be. But people who can’t get health care coverage because insurance companies only want to insure healthy people, what do they do? They just die for the most part. Anyone who thinks that is fair is beyond heartless IMO.

* Link
* Report this comment

Ry

August 28th, 2009
9:53 am

TG – The current proposal overall does not promote a single payer system directly. However, there are parts of the bill that very much support that and in looking to the future, the impact of the bill is projected to lead to a government run system. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you actually read the bill…oh wait that campaign promise from Obama about transparency and the general public having a chance to read bills before they are voted on never happened. Why do you think he wanted to rush the bill through so quickly? Also, healthcare is not the most important issue in this country at this time. It is the economy and jobs. If the approximately 15 million people who can’t afford health insurance had a job, then guess what they could afford it. Obama loves to say that there are 47 million uninsured in this country. However, a large portion of those can afford health insurance and choose not to get it. Why should tax payers foot the bill for those who simply choose not to buy insurance even though they can afford it? That is part of the problem, people do not want to take responsibility for themselves and want the government to pay for everything, even if it means lower quality care. Social Security is bankrupt, Medicare is bankrupt, the postal service is bankrupt. Why does anyone think the government can provide quality healthcare without going bankrupt?

* Link
* Report this comment

Dale

August 28th, 2009
9:55 am

Hoping for Rational Debate…so you are saying that it is wrong for the govt to provide insurance for the folks on the beach, but they should provide insurance for another segment of the population? I say two wrongs don’t make a right and I say govt doesn’t belong in the insurance business period!

* Link
* Report this comment

Trey

August 28th, 2009
9:58 am

Atlanta Native, actually he has every right to talk against the plans of the Government, as an American if he does not like something the Constitution provides him the right to disagree and talk about the Government’s plans.

* Link
* Report this comment

Citizen

August 28th, 2009
10:01 am

DeborahinAthens I have known plenty of Canadians that did not like their healthcare. My parents worked for Nortel who originated in Canada. Healthcare is one of the reason they put in for transfers down here and did not go back once Nortel tanked. Teh waits and the approvals were all to much.

Also lets just assume that Germany or the UK has better healthcare (not that they do) Europe nationalize the passenger rail industry and you have clean safe bullet trains crossing the continent. The US does the same and we have Amtrak. The politicans will make sure we get crap pork barrel picked coverage just as we do under medicare and the VA.

If you wnat to lower costs pass tort reform.

If you want shorter lines for Emergency care tighten border control and ship the illegals back.

* Link
* Report this comment

Yurtle_the_turtle

August 28th, 2009
10:01 am

Gail

I understand and hear you very well. I have had several shoulder dislocations and have had to pay them myself, although I had BCBS also. And dental “insurance” is a joke. My wife’s teeth cost us $5,000 this year. We’re paying off these medical bills ourselves and I’m tired of doing it as I pay BCBS every month out of my pay check. I agree something needs to get done. I blame Democrats and Republicans, but especially Democrats for their liberal mind set of paying healthcare for EVERYONE, including illegal aliens. However, I truly believe that the answer is NOT Socialism/Communism. Tort reform and insurance reform is a better answer than Socialism. I don’t want to pay for someone’s poor health choices that require medical attention. I try to keep my health up with regular exercise and choosing not to smoke or drink excessively. I see many overweight people who practice no restraint on eating/drinking and then never visit a gym or walk for health. Why should I pay for their negligence? So, I don’t want to pay for “ALL”, just for my family and myself.

* Link
* Report this comment

Atlanta Native

August 28th, 2009
10:02 am

Dave – they were educated by babyboomers. That’s why. They have been indoctrinated since they were young to rely on government. I remember the amazing switch in what I was taught when my parents yanked my arrogant, in-trouble behind out of public high school and sent me to Catholic school. Suddenly things were my responsibility. I hated at the time, but I am so glad that they did it, or I may have ended up like my peers in public school, several of which I can see at local bars every day if I wish!

* Link
* Report this comment

Trey

August 28th, 2009
10:04 am

Les Miles, I can’t see anything good out of free health care, but we should have a majority vote as that is true democracy and then if the ones who want free health care win we can try their system for a while.

* Link
* Report this comment

The Lemmer

August 28th, 2009
10:05 am

Michael is correct. It’s troubling enough that I, along with other working people, financially support thousands of teenage baby factories. Why should we be forced to pay for their healthcare?

* Link
* Report this comment

Trey

August 28th, 2009
10:06 am

Exactly, public school is a complete failure, Atlanta Native.

* Link
* Report this comment

jconservative

August 28th, 2009
10:11 am

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

Bob, what do you think we have here? Annual report from the Director of CMS……..
“CMS is the largest purchaser of health care in the United States, serving about 92 million Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) beneficiaries. ”

Food for thought.

* Link
* Report this comment

booger

August 28th, 2009
10:13 am

Once again this debate is avoiding the central issue. WE CANNOT AFFORD THIS.

You’re right booger. Even middle class Americans can’t afford to foot the bill for an insurance policy that is is not part of an employer provided plan. W can’t afford the Iraq war or the war in Afghanistan either booger. So I guess we should just throw in the towel there huh booger?

Dr. R

August 28th, 2009
11:45 am

JSon, I would not resist an expansion of Medicaid that gets more indigent folks on insurance rolls. Their visits to ERs for minor ailments are one factor in driving up costs. Another is malpractice case awards, which the Democrats won’t take on because the lawyers oppose it. Anyway, I’m fine with a low-grade plan to help the actual poor. The problem is that Democrats want to keep expanding who qualifies as poor and rich, to the point that it will include us all. And as indicated, that’s something I oppose.

Let me also clarify something else for my more liberal friends here (and I do mean friends, not enemies; I don’t think that way): There is nothing selfish about independence. In fact, I believe it LESS selfish of me to look out for my own interests rather than tap into your hard-earned dollars for my needs. If my neighbor, friend or family member needs something, I’ll be the first one there to provide it. But having the government take our incomes to distribute to strangers does not qualify as charity. It is egalitarian social engineering and anathema to the very notion of liberty that this country was founded on.

Dave at 9:44, great summary. If we bought health insurance like we did other forms, and it was regulated as such, we’d have control of our health dollars. Locking us into employer-provided plans was the first step on the road we now follow.

Les Miles

August 28th, 2009
11:50 am

Dr R what could someone elses child have done without a parent of your means? Died?

therese persaud

August 28th, 2009
11:56 am

LAURA you are absolutely correct. Iam afraid we will not convince these selfish ,ignorant Americans that socilized medicine helps the whole society, including selfish indivuduals . I have scores of relatives and friends in Canada and England who can get on with the business of productive lives because health neeeds ,REAL ONES, are being handled by a govt with a social conscience!!I am surprised that Barr, a lawyer of some repute , is so far off the mark!!

Chris Broe

August 28th, 2009
12:02 pm

Dont start a paragraph with a preposition, sir.

Since indeed.

And now it’s time for Odd Couples, that weekly bipartisan look at why we can’t have the America we want.

ODD COUPLES

The death of the left in Paris. The death of the Right in America.

The Death of Ted Kennedy, a car-driving, bombastic pro-bipartisan who reached across the aisle, like a man.

The Death of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a car-bombing pro-Iranian who reached across Islam like an Imam.

The near-sightedness of Bob Barr. Wooten’s thousand-mile-stare. (what’s up with Wooten, anyway?)

More Odd Couples to come

bob

August 28th, 2009
12:06 pm

Les miles, SS is fine if you are 70, please do the math for someone now entering the work force and you can tell them to pay 12% into a ponzi scheme. What does Limbaugh have to do with Fannie or Freddie ? since you played the Rush card, I guess you think they worked well ? And do you agree that busing was a waste or do you think putting a kid on a bus for three ahours a days worked out well. Why can’t libs fix what is broken first. How about this Les, Lets pay girls to have babies and see how that works out.

Dr. R

August 28th, 2009
12:06 pm

Of course, the problem with a means tested plan to provide entitlements is that everyone will want in. While the tax burden will be lower on most of us, most will want to tap into a share of the goodies and not be satisfied to be able to save more on their own. Say we offer health, retirement other benefits to someone who makes $10,000 a year. Then the guy who makes $15K will want in. So we add him, and the guy making $20K says, “what about me?” So we up it again and the guy at $25K says, “where’s my share?” And on we go. Too many of us these days are willing to surrender our self-sufficient nature in return for being cared for. We’re not willing to turn off the TV, get off the sofa and go fend for ourselves as long as the state promises to do so for us, in exchange for votes. It’s a spiral that began with the New Deal and continues to this day. As long as a majority of Americans are willing to take from someone else’s pile to fill their own needs, we won’t be able to fend off this inevitable slide into ultimate dependencec.

Dr. R

August 28th, 2009
12:11 pm

Les, I’m not that well off. Anyone who goes to the ER will be treated, as it should be. We can’t turn away truly sick people. We just need to provide more and better options than the ER for those who do not face emergencies. In my case, I took on the responsibility of paying the bill and did not look around for another option. I’m not a rich man, but I have a job and a modest home and I do not need assistance from public sources. I think you’d have to agree that such a point of view is rare in this “what do I get?” society of self-indulgent babies.

Forgive my typos, by the way, I’m in too much of a hurry here.

bob

August 28th, 2009
12:14 pm

Les one more thing on SS. Look at your SS statement this year and you will see on the first page this Quote ” SS is a compact between generations. For decades, America has kept the promise of security for it’s workers and their families. Now, however, the Social Security system is facing serious financial problems, and action is needed soon to make sure the system will be sound when today’s younger workers are ready for retirement.
In 2017 we will begin paying more in benefits than we collect in taxes. Without changes, by 2041 the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted and there will be only about 78 cents for each dollar of schedualed benefits. We need to resolve these issues soon to make sure Social Security continues to provide a foundation of protection for future generations” Michael J Astrue, Commisioner. Is that the best you can do Les ?

Saul Good

August 28th, 2009
12:24 pm

Nice spin and BS. Many of those that received health care here (from your figure) and Canadians that were here on vacation or that own second homes here. The number of Americans who received health care in Canada last year was HIGHER! 1.5 MILLION AMERICANS RECEIVED HEALTH CARE IN CANADA IN 2008!!! So, it’s not even CLOSE Bob! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Canada

Not only that, we American purchased over ONE BILLION dollars in prescriptions “in person” in Canada in 2008 because they’re that much cheaper up there!

Funny how you didn’t bring up the over million US citizens who got health care in Canada last year Bob!

ncgreybr

August 28th, 2009
12:32 pm

Dr R: “Their visits to ERs for minor ailments are one factor in driving up costs. Another is malpractice case awards, which the Democrats won’t take on because the lawyers oppose it.”

Why didn’t malpractice insurance premiums go dowdn in Texas after tort reform was enacted?

ER visits no solution

August 28th, 2009
12:42 pm

Several posts mention if people need to see a doctor and don’t have insurance, then they can go to the local ER and can’t be turned away. Guess you could try that. IF the hospitals near you still have ER’s. Any one else noticed how many hospitals have shut down the ERs in the past few years?

To Michael who said “Don’t drink, don’t smoke, and don’t get in fights. That’s about all the health insurance you need.” I didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, certainly didn’t get into fights, exercised regularly, followed a very healthy diet, stayed on the low end of normal weight for my height. Felt great and looked like the picture of health. Age 50, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I hope your luck holds up. I’m assuming you are human being so you might want to get insurance coverage and keep it if you can.

BPJ

August 28th, 2009
12:42 pm

My vote for least informed post so far goes to “Californication”, who tells us that members of Congress would never submit to the “public option” and would never agree to “socialized medicine” for themselves. Was that supposed to be a joke? Members of Congress do have government provided health care. Those Republicans in Congress who rhapsodize about private insurance don’t like to talk about where they get their healthcare.

Dr. R

August 28th, 2009
12:46 pm

ncgreybr, I don’t have an answer for you on Texas. It may be that something else there kept premiums high, or that insurance companies weren’t willing to pass on the savings. I don’t want to speculate because I don’t know, but you bring up a valid point. Even as one who leans conservative (libertarian, actually), I would be willing to concede that, in many ways, Texas is pretty screwed up.

It’s a fact that malpractice insurance is astronomical, which drives up health costs. It also leads doctors to order unncessary tests and procedures in order to cover their behinds in case of a lawsuit. I like Charles Krauthammer’s idea to create a medical advisory panel of real doctors to oversee malpractice cases and make more informed judgments on whether there is true malfeasance. If a doctor screws up and someone suffers, they should be rewarded. But most juries don’t have the medical knowledge to make that call wisely and are easily influenced by skilled lawyers. How much savings we’d see from this is anyone’s guess, but I think it’s a good step to take.

JSon

August 28th, 2009
12:47 pm

I just don’t understnad why we can’t have a choice. After years of dealing with the insurance companies I would LOVE to try dealing with the govt. instead. I have always had employer plans, and it’s gotten so bad that I will avoid going to a doctor until I’m desperate. I know that almost everytime I go, I will have to spend months on the phone trying to get my bill straight after they overcharge me or delay reimbursement. And I love how I’ve been told several times that they never received my paperwork even though I have had proof each time that it was sent. They will do anything they can to try to put off or deny payment. And the whole concept of people besides my docotr making a profit off my sickness just does not not sit well at all with me.
And for the record I have two close friends in Europe who are very happy with their healthcare when they compare it to ours.

Dunwoody Mike

August 28th, 2009
12:52 pm

Conservatism is a disease – there are several that have posted this morning on this blog that have a terminal case of it. Tis sad, but we need to rid the world of conservatism – anyone that is a conservative is a loser anyway and won’t be missed. We should ship all the conservatives in the world to the South Pole. Man, that would be just terrific if we could make that happen.
Check 8:40 AM for the context of this.

Dr. R

August 28th, 2009
12:55 pm

JSon, I equate it to a similar experience: The other day, I had to wait in line at the post office because there were two of 10 counters open. The line moved slowly and the counter tenders seemed inattentive and uninterested. When I’ve given up in the past and gone instead to FedEx or UPS, I get treated like a valued customer. That is the difference. When the profit motive is gone, so is the motive for public service. There is no financial benefit to firing poor workers, since they aren’t driving off business, so on they work. In fact, if we reformed the insurance industry to create MORE competition, not less, by making private policies more affordable and available, I think the service will improve for us all. The employee-sponsored plan that locks us in (somewhat, though we have some choice) may just be a preview of what we would get when Uncle Sam is providing that service. But that’s just my take. I have to head to work now, folks, so carry on. Good discussion and a blessed day to all.

Ry

August 28th, 2009
1:09 pm

Json – Private insurers could not compete with a government plan for two reasons: 1. Because the government has unlimited tax payer dollars to use. Not because the government could do a better job. They just print more money 2. Because the government would ration care and provide less quality care

JSon

August 28th, 2009
1:09 pm

With my experience with the insurance companies, I would LOVE to deal with the post office mentality. It would be a refreshing change that something would actually get handled.

Atlanta Native

August 28th, 2009
1:12 pm

Trey @ 9:58 am.

Read my comment again. It’s called sarcasm. I was making fun of the way liberals have acted to anyone who opposes their plan and has the audacity to speak up.

ncgreybr

August 28th, 2009
1:18 pm

The head of United Healthcare (or something like that name) made 750 MILLION dollars over the last 10 years. Three forths of a BILLION dollars. What makes him worth 3/4 of a billion dollars? What does he do that a CEO making one million dollars a year does not do? If I had United Healthcare, how much could I have saved on my premiums if he had not been there?
I figure he makes about $10,000 every time he goes to the bathroom.

Reform Will Happen

August 28th, 2009
1:23 pm

Want to see a primary care Dr. in the US? Pick up a phone and call one and he’ll have to go through months of Kabuki dance just to get paid by the insurance companies Bob Barr is lobbying here and possibly for money to protect.

The Availability of Affordable Healthcare

One-fourth of American respondents are either “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with “the availability of affordable healthcare in the nation,” (6% very satisfied and 19% somewhat satisfied). This level of satisfaction is significantly lower than in Canada, where 57% are satisfied with the availability of affordable healthcare, including 16% who are very satisfied. Roughly 4 in 10 Britons are satisfied (43%), but only 7% say they are very satisfied (similar to the percentage very satisfied in the United States).

Looking at the other side of the coin, 44% of Americans are very dissatisfied with the availability of affordable healthcare, and nearly three-fourths (72%) are either somewhat or very dissatisfied. The 44% in the United States who are very dissatisfied with healthcare availability is significantly higher than corresponding figures in either Canada (17%) or Great Britain (25%).

JSon

August 28th, 2009
1:26 pm

Ry@1:09: I don’t believe in that rhetoric. After all, we have public and private schools and the govt. hasn’t pritned more money so they could do a much better job and run the private schools out of business. And we have the post office vs.UPS, Fed Ex and the govt. hasn’t run UPS out of business. Those are just Republican fear-mongering talking points.

dw

August 28th, 2009
1:27 pm

To Gandhi,

The point is “maybe something other than the healthcare legislation currently proposed, should be looked at or modified or discussed”.
Also let’s assume the 46 million number is actual and legal residents, then 254 million are insured. That is about 85%. Now, I’m not saying that we should turn our backs on the 15% that don’t. But just changing how the premiums are paid and who (insurance company or gov’t bureaucrat) decides who gets what is not really that much of a real change. I think I would rather rely on a random insurance worker, than a gov’t bureaucrat that may or may not like my politics and make decisions based on that. I’ve found that ultra cons and ultra libs aren’t fair and openminded as advertised. Maybe toning down the crazy profits and salaries of bigshots of the health insurance industry is a better idea. Also I know that some states (Georgia included) surcharge a percentage already, to pay for non-insured folks. Also it is my understanding that medical facilities can NOT turn away emergency care regardless of persons ability to pay. So the “uninsured” do have access to healthcare already in a form.

jconservative

August 28th, 2009
1:28 pm

Les Miles – your link follows the quote.

“I am pleased to present the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Annual Performance Report for fiscal year (FY) 2008. CMS is the largest purchaser of health care in the United States, serving about 92 million Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) beneficiaries. We take this role very seriously, as our oversight responsibility impacts millions of lives and has grown dramatically over the last few years.”

http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PerformanceBudget/Downloads/cmsannualperformancereportfy2008.pdf

Reform Will Happen

August 28th, 2009
1:28 pm

New poll shows Canadians overwhelmingly support public health care

http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/august/new_poll_shows_canad.php

A new poll conducted by the Toronto-based Nanos Research points to overwhelming support — 86.2 percent — for strengthening public health care rather than expanding for-profit services.

“With more than 8 in 10 Canadians supporting public solutions to make public health care stronger, there is compelling evidence that Canadians across all demographics would prefer a public over a for-profit health care system,” said Nik Nanos, president of Nanos Research.

Nanos Research was commissioned by the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC), a nonpartisan group that supports Canada’s public health system, to conduct a random telephone survey of 1,001 Canadians between April 25 and May 3. The margin of accuracy for a sample of 1,001 is ±3.1 percentage points.

Meanwhile, Canada’s government just released a report titled “Healthy Canadians — A Federal Report on Comparable Health Indicators 2008.” Its findings almost identically mirror the CHC polling results. In that report, a leading indicator points to the fact that “Most Canadians (85.2 percent) aged 15 years and older reported being ‘very satisfied’ or ‘somewhat satisfied’ with the way overall health care services were provided, unchanged from 2005.”

Chris Broe

August 28th, 2009
1:39 pm

Healthcare is as good as the doctor. Most doctors are incompetent. America, heal thyself. (doctors B good sailors, though).

Reform Will Happen

August 28th, 2009
1:40 pm

Oh look Bob Barr. See Dick and Jane Run. Stop parroting Faux, Levine, Hannity and Rush the drug addict. Start reading the way a lawyer and former US Attorney Should.

The First Circuit upheld a $102 million judgement against Bob Barr’s former employer DOJ for the malicious prosecution by DOJ and the Boston FBI because the FBI had and witheld evidence that proved the defendants weren’t responsible for the killing of Teddie Deegan.

In a “lack the backbone” opinion the First Circuit panel in weasel fashion upheld the award for emotional distress, but refused to conclude “malicious prosecution.” If witholding evidence, prosecuting and putting individuals in jail for the rest of their lives for three decades doesn’t constitute malicious prosecution, I don’t know what is.

http://www.fresnobee.com/641/story/1618065.html

Chris Broe

August 28th, 2009
1:47 pm

Fed Ex mgt is incompetent. America, mail thyself. (They be good grillers, though).

Chris Broe

August 28th, 2009
1:51 pm

A great discussion. I was standing in line at the post office and zzzzz.

Honestly.

We need a public Option

August 28th, 2009
1:52 pm

Yurtle_the_turtle,

Will you use Medicare or will you move to China because you hate the Governmnet option?

bob

August 28th, 2009
1:54 pm

BPJ, the congress’ healthcare plan is run by a Private health care company.

Chris Broe

August 28th, 2009
1:54 pm

Most prostitutes are incompetent. America blank thyself. (they’re great conversationalists, though)

JSon

August 28th, 2009
2:10 pm

Usually when the govt. competes side by side with private enterprise, the govt. services are cheaper but the private companies services offer better quality. And that’s how it should be. You have to pay more for quality. That’s why I’d rather wait in line at the post office. ‘Cause I’m willing to make the tradeoff to pay less. Let those who have more money pay for better service if they want it. But at least have a minimum level of care to take care of our poor and less fortunate.

Chris Broe

August 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

Most writers are incompetent. America hack thyself. (they make great coffee, though)

Hannibal Lechter

August 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

Yeah, but get seriously sick or injured in the U.S., even with insurance, and it might better fiscal sense for your family to let it take you.

steve

August 28th, 2009
2:19 pm

ryanv-
Single payer is the most cost effective solution and the reason it isn’t on the table is because of the insurance lobby. It has nothing to do with with healthcare delivery. I repeat, it has nothing to do with healthcare delivery. That is an outright lie. Single payer just eliminates having 300 different codes for the same procedure.
Al I want is healthcare for me that isn’t tied to my employer, that belongs to me. That I choose. That cannot be cancelled because I change jobs or get sick.
Please read Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone. Both sides have sold us out. We are being sold out by the whole lot of them.

steve

August 28th, 2009
2:21 pm

Please read the following Wiki entry in regards to G8 spending on healthcare. We are getting whacked, plus we get bathwater while we pay for champagne.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Canada

Barry

August 28th, 2009
2:23 pm

Most of you that are arguing with the Obama worshiping Dimocrats might as well be talking to a rock! I have a 3 month old puppy that is more intelligent than these Obama Kool-Aid drinking morons. Obama could herd all of them together and drive them off a cliff at any time and they would just praise him, Pelosi and Reid. When you think of it…how would any sane intelligent person ever vote for Pelosi, Reid or Obama! Obama don’t have a clue about anything except he’s determined to destroy the America we grew up in and love by turning it into a Socialist ran Government controlled country! This man is a lier and he is fast electing his radical friends to control you and your freedom!

Barry

August 28th, 2009
2:36 pm

Senate Bill Would Give President Emergency Control of Internet
Details of a revamped version of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 show the Senate bill could give the president a “kill switch” on the Internet and allow him to shut out private networks from online access. Sounds like Hugo Chavez has given Obama more advice!!!!!

GeographyLady

August 28th, 2009
2:36 pm

Thanks to those who pointed out that 5% of the Canadian population is 1.7 million, not 17 million. Can we trust Barr’s other statistics?

clyde

August 28th, 2009
2:36 pm

Just talked to a Canadian friend today.She had an EKG on August 10th.An appointment with a specialist today.The specialist came to her area so people won’t have to drive to the city.A diagnosis and treatment was announced today.Total out of pocket cost to my friend?Nothing.Two prescriptions were issued and filled.Total cost to my friend,$10 per.Insurance will pay for the rest.She gets the insurance from her employer.Sound familiar?Follow up appointments were made for November.Those will be in her area.No charge.Pretty poor health care?Not on your life.

Yankee

August 28th, 2009
2:40 pm

Come on Bob, fess up. How much do you spend for your subsidized health care?

Mark

August 28th, 2009
2:50 pm

Even if there was a PERFECT plan out there for health care, our nation simply CANNOT AFFORD IT!!! The white house and congressional budget office officials predicted that the deficit for 2009 would be 1.6 trillion dollars. Fiscal years 2009-2019 the two differ slightly. The white house says the cumulative deficit will be 9.1 trillion and the CBO says it will be 7.1 trillion (Aug 26, 2009 Associated Press report).

Forget about the details of the plan. We can’t afford the plan itself. Our country is going broke. We have to stop the spending!!

bob

August 28th, 2009
2:53 pm

Clyde, do you really think it’s free ?

Sherl

August 28th, 2009
3:14 pm

Canada’s population is 33,212,696 so 17,500 equals less than one tenth of one percent of their population. I would say that means a lot of people must be very satisfied with their system. If they were really unhappy you would see a much higher number coming to the US for health care.

Curt

August 28th, 2009
3:17 pm

I suppose I could pretend to be an e-mailing Canadian doctor or citizen also, and my lies would be just as believable as those presented above. Anyone who believes much of what is presented in these forums is crazy.

clyde

August 28th, 2009
3:18 pm

Bob,
No,Bob,it isn’t free. It costs money,just like it does here.Taxes pay for it.But,Bob,It’s available to everyone,rich or poor.Whether you can pay or not.Also,Bob,there are no surprises.People on the mend or with terminal illnesses are not financially ruined.There are no huge medical bills for survivors to cope with.It’s just simpy a better system,Bob,for those involved.

Carl

August 28th, 2009
3:22 pm

It’s all Jimmy Carter’s fault.

bill warden

August 28th, 2009
3:23 pm

I have a suggestion. Get on the phone and call someone in Canada. Or take a trip there. Ask them, virtually ANY ONE of them and ask if they’d prefer to be on their health plan or the one in the US. ASK, I have! On numerous trips there. I have never yet met a SINGLE Canadian who expressed a desire to change to the US’s system. Yes they complain, who doesn’t? But in general Canadians think the US’s system is crude, backward and barbaric!!. Please, don’t just swallow silly editorials like the one at the top of this page, go find out yourself from someone in Canada.

And, oh, by the way. Did you happen to ask any of those Canadians, that got some health care in the USA, about who paid for that care? You’d be surprised to know how often the care obtained in US was paid for by the Canadian health service. That’s the kind of thing that happens when a health care system exists to give health care rather than to restrict it for profit.

And the statistics about wait time are sheer garbage. I base this on experience. My daughter is in college in Canada. She couldn’t get an appointment with her GP in time when she was home for summer a year ago. So she went back to school and went to her health provider there. Saw the doctor THAT DAY. She’s never had to wait more than a few days. Try that in your HMO or PPO here.

Try to get your statistics from somewhere besides the Glen Beck show or Rush Limbaugh!

JSon

August 28th, 2009
3:23 pm

We can afford anything we want to afford. It’s all a matter of tradeoffs. Let’s shut down the expansion of government called Homeland Services and that would save us a ton of money.

JSon

August 28th, 2009
3:23 pm

I mean Homeland Security

the evil rich

August 28th, 2009
3:28 pm

Who’s fault is it poor American’s can’t get care? ANY emergency they have is ALWAYS taken care of on the tax payer dollar.

When did it become an American’s right to preventive health care? This is just another liberal move to nanny-ize the government.

Feel free to name ANY job the government does well that they are involved in. that the private sector wouldn’t do better.

Trust the government? Ask an Indian.

“Tax the rich, healthcare for the poor, ’til there are rich no more” (revised 10 years after, 1971)

JackLeg

August 28th, 2009
3:34 pm

Hey Les Miles, Why are the jobs not coming back? Can you see the future? It would be real easy to bring the jobs back, lower the corporate tax to 25%. If people had jobs, and got a tax incentive to have healthcare, gee what would happen? Les Miles since you seem to love what our government does, can you name one thing that they have not destroyed? Like Medicare, no not that, Medicaid, no not that……hmmm Fannie May and Freddie Mac…. No not that…..Social Security….. no not that …. I can’t seem to find one thing that our government has run that has been run correctly, can you? The only thing that our government does is steal money from my check before I even get it, then waste it! Why don’t all you loser liberals move to Canada, or England for a while before you decide to ruin our system. Better yet wait until it is an emergency and see how fast you get help….RLOL… by the way for the moment we are a free country so feel free to go where ever you think is better….

Lovleyliz, do you know why more Canadians don’t come here? Let me enlighten you, they have a 50% tax rate on salary then a VAT tax on foods services and goods…so how much is left to live on? Don’t worry if Obozo gets his way we will ALL be poor soon…

Geo

August 28th, 2009
3:43 pm

Hi,

No need to draw comparisons to Canada or any other nations with “socialized health care” to prove or disprove a point. If we are the greatest country in the world then we and our elected officials can create a system that
1.) Covers the entire U.S. population and removes the bankruptcy threats of not being insured
2.) Removes any need to use pre-existing conditions as obstacles for coverage
3.) Reduces the costs of doing business by improving technology and promoting good health.
4.) Provides checks & balances to hold both public & private health care systems\companies within ethical standards.
5.) Holds costs at present levels and maybe even realize some reductions in the future.

This is not a scaremonger tactic. Forget that Obama is president and think about the worse case health scenario that can impact you. Then think about how you would feel if you did not have health coverage. Even more so, think about if you just lost your job (and health coverage) and your new health provider won’t cover your condition. May not be you but it is happening right now to individuals in this country.

eddie s

August 28th, 2009
3:45 pm

I used to live in Southern Kalifornia and traveled by RV a lot. I belonged to a number of Camp grounds around the State.. I would often meet Canadians staying in the Campgrounds around the State in my travels and just about all of them came to Kalifronia for have medical procedures done. I only remember a couple of statements the most outrageous ones course about the time lag between diagnoises and treatment..Average was 4 months.. One I remember really well because I thought it was horrible,,,A simple hernia repair, what ten minutes at the most with 4 tiny holes cut in abdomen..1 year wait…in the mean time they kept telling him just to pop it back in or wear a girdle… Another Canadian, a woemen, her uterus was falling,,,come back in a year and a half meantime just stuff it back in and wear heavier panties, that is what they told her….

Now is this horrendous or what! The average wait here in the States, without a commettiee to decide when you when you were going to get surgey, if you were to get it all,,, Two weeks average after crossing the Border and finding a place to stay……

Excuse my spelling but I went to a Public School taught by Union employees…

Santana Moss

August 28th, 2009
3:50 pm

JackLeg is certainly an appropriate name for you JackLeg. It indicates the level of your brain function.

The Professor

August 28th, 2009
3:54 pm

Can someone…….anyone show me where in any of the plans it calls for covering illegal aliens? I am too lazy to look for it but I am sure it is there. I am not the only one that mention the illegals.

JSon

August 28th, 2009
3:54 pm

Geo, I like it…that’s what we need is some good positive thinking.

Brittancus

August 28th, 2009
3:55 pm

Instead of pandering to the business community, our elected politicians must execute E-Verify as permanent tool to draw illegal workers away from the workplace? It must not be voluntary to be enforced, with serious penalties for employers who disregard the law. Heavy fines should be imposed, along with asset confiscation and for hiring a large force of illegal foreign workers a lengthy prison sentence. Nobody in the workplace should be exempt from being positively identified as a Citizen or a US permanent resident. Even the longest employed worker should be checked through the system. E-Verification should be built upon, with any new innovations desired to stop jobs being stolen from those legally allowed to work.

Many ICE raids across the nation have proved beyond doubt the extent of illegal nationals taking jobs of citizens and how expeditiously these unfilled jobs were taken back by bona-fide workers in the poultry industry. Americans in the working environment should report any illegal activity to ICE, so they can investigate. E-Verify is the only substantial program in immigration armory that must not be weakened. It is evident that it’s operational owing to the tireless assault of the ACLU, US Chamber of Commerce to silence its function in the courts. Now is the time to pressure your reluctant elected official, specifically in California. This Sanctuary Refuge for illegal aliens and their families have been overloading schools, hospitals and government welfare benefits to pacify special interest lobbyists. Voters should also immediately mandate installation of E-Verify nationwide in vetting the janitor to an engineer, from a sheet metal worker to an advertising executive.

When the welfare state of California nearly financially collapsed, it can be partially attributed to the massive population of illegal immigrants. The time is ripe to shout aloud of the decades of inflated taxes supporting education to K-12, free medical care and considerably more which stays intentionally undisclosed to the public. MAKE A NOTE OF THIS WASHINGTON SWITCHBOARD NUMBER 202-224-3121. Like never before we need the Nation Guard to patrol the border on a permanent basis, to support the undermanned region. Democrats declare in the town hall meetings, that foreign nationals have–NO–access to benefits in Obama’s health care reform.

But if a path to citizenship or AMNESTY is not–TABLED–in the coming Immigration Reform session, then one-and-all, will automatically be provided for as new citizens into the health care program. In addition we must consider the gigantic onslaught of millions more who will try to join those already here? WE CANNOT EVEN PROVIDE MEDICAL FOR OUR OWN POPULATION? I CONCUR WITH A PUBLIC OPTION-BUT NOT FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS.

STOP IT ONCE AND FOR ALL NOW AND START A POINTS SYSTEM FOR HIGH ECHELON WORKERS. The poor, uneducated will never stop breaking our laws, for an opportunity reserved for AMERICANS AND LEGAL RESIDENTS. LEARN THE CONSEQUENCES OF IRREVERSIBLE OVERPOPULATION, THE COSTS TO TAXPAYERS AT NUMBERSUSA, HERITAGE FOUNDATION & JUDICIAL WATCH.

Michael H. Smith

August 28th, 2009
3:56 pm

But there can be no such thing as the right to another man’s labor — because there is no such thing as any sort of right to involuntary servitude on the part of others.

@ Michael Smith – Of course there can be such a thing as the right to another man’s labor. It is very well defined under fascism, socialism, communism and Obumerism.

canexpat

August 28th, 2009
4:16 pm

That 17,500 is misleading. It is made up of primarily Canadians that are already resident in the USA. There are approximately 1 million Canadians living in the US. That relatively small number (17,500) is made up those Canadians that work for Canadian and US companies that supply Medicare coverage. The rest come back to Canada to get heathcare. Why? Because we don’t have to worry about going bankrupt and no, we don’t have to wait as long as many in the US seem to be saying.

Canadians Love their healthcare. 33 million Canadians can’t be wrong.

clyde

August 28th, 2009
4:34 pm

Ripping the Canadian healthcare system apart to prove we don’t want one like it in the U.S. isn’t a good idea.They want a health care system in Canada for everyone and they’re committed to having one.So far,as problems arise,they solve them.That doesn’t mean they always will be able to,unless everyone is behind it.They have sacrificed to get this system and they want to keep it and improve it if possible.

The U.S,sysyem is a fine system for people who have money and insurance and are able to afford what insurance doesn’t cover,but it’s not a good sysyem for people that can’t afford it.I’ve been covered by employer insurance all my life so I’ve had no real problems,just pay what the insurance won’t and go on.I’ve had insurance and medical bills at the same time in my life,so has my daughter and son.So has my father.My Canadian friends escape that problem completely.An extended illness there does not mean financial ruin as it well can here.

Yankee

August 28th, 2009
4:43 pm

Who would have thought so many here would have relatives in Canada. You betcha.

Justin

August 28th, 2009
5:38 pm

Bob, although I think you are a bit of a fat tick, I would expect more from you as an educated man. First, cite your sourc(es). 12.5k Canadians out of how many in their total population? Why don’t you shed some light on how many Americans travel to other countries, namely Canada and Mexico for affordable pharmaceuticals. Speak facts, which I will cite from the CIA fact book…you know, the one put together by the Central Intelligence Agency and cited as information by news sources world wide: Canada has a higher life expectancy than the USA, not by just barely…but Canada is 8th worldwide, USA is 47th. There are many many comparisons in which I think you will find your opinion just that, opinion, but far from real world facts.
I lived in Atlanta for 35 years and now because of my job, live in a country with socialized health care that thankfully I can take advantage of as a resident with a work visa. 4 years ago I broke an ankle in a fall. I was taken to the hospital where I saw an emergency room doctor immediately, no waiting. After having spent 2 days in a hospital room while having x rays, surgery which included a pin inserted into my ankle and normal recovery (including all medication), I spent a grand total of 15 euros (20 US Dollars). Last week, I was experiencing a pain in my jaw which after a day of enduring, I decided to go to the hospital to have it checked out. I saw 3 Physicians (General first, Ear, nose and throat second and Dentist third) and was determined I was in need of a nerve extraction via a root canal. I was in the hospital a total of 4 hours in which I saw these three doctors, had two x rays, a root canal and minor recovery. Yes, 3 doctors AND the procedure in 4 hours…No scheduling appointments and waiting for an opening, referrals, driving all over town, etc. One week later, I am perfectly recovered and our of 6 Euros (8 US dollars) for the TOTAL of the visit and procedure, including X-rays, Novocaine and antibiotics.
Bob, you speak the same fear due to ignorance so many people preach. It’s a darn shame so many people in my home country are too ignorant to realize what a blessing it is to not have top pay the US average of $5000 per year in a profit- motivated health care insurance and not have to worry about whose pocket your doctor is in. Ask 10 Canadians and 10 English of they would rather have their systems or ours. I bet you’d be convinced, if you could look past your ill-informed fears.

fed up w/Yankee

August 28th, 2009
5:38 pm

Read my response to this question in the last blog, which had nothing to do about healthcare.

Marryanne

August 28th, 2009
5:52 pm

Bob, Since when has going to the doctor been like going to Super Cuts. In case you forget what the real world is like, you cant just “walk in” to your General Physician and be seen. There is such thing as an “appointment” which needs to be made. Chances are, unless it’s life threatening, you wait FAR more than 4.5 hours to be seen. This may mean waiting for the first opening or perhaps being seen the next day, but rarely can you just show up and be seen. Same goes in an emergency room. If your “emergency” is not life threatening, you are passed over for the ones which are. Eventually you are seen, sometimes hours after arriving at the hospital.
Bob, when was the last time you had to wait in line anywhere for anything. I guess being a Senator and failed Presidential candidate has it’s privileges, most of us will never know.

TnGelding

August 28th, 2009
6:08 pm

Well, it depends on where you live and what your definition of virtually is. Bottom line, health care is already rationed in this country and you do have to wait to see a specialist. As to how much illegal aliens are costing the system, who knows?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-01-21-immigrant-healthcare_N.htm

I would think they are billed just like anyone else that shows up at the ER without insurance.

I like this doctor’s approach:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md

sakel

August 28th, 2009
6:13 pm

This is purely illogical at best. For 62% of Americans filing for bankruptcy the primary cause is….*Medical bills*! Not a single claim for bankruptcy you will find in Canada caused by inability to pay for medical bills!

Americans spend 18% of their GDP on healthcare and in Canada one 7%, not to mention that the per capita is far below the American $7,800.00 annual!

Why are Americans proud of having a developing country’s healthcare system that leaves out 50 million of its citizens in the clutches of a redundantly profiteering insurance lobby that elects their politicians?

We Canadians are proud of our national healthcare system and if our Bushian prime minister Harper ever dares to lay a hand on it, he’ll be kicked out on his dull posterior faster than you can spell “hope and change”!

Wake up and joing Slovania. This is the country that holds the #38 spot on healthcare ranking–which is one above the American #37. Isn’t this a shameful fact? I’m sure you’ll agree, eh?

Jerry Grillo

August 28th, 2009
6:14 pm

Ken, wow, what an enlightened and Christian response. As the parent of a severely disabled boy, I get some access to Medicaid. And you seem to be proud of the fact that you can hold a job. Well done, drone. I also can hold a job and pay for health care. It’s a good plan, but it isn’t enough to pay for everything my son needs. Before you start brushing everyone who needs assistance with the same brush, get your head out of your fat @$$ and pick up a book once in a while.

memi

August 28th, 2009
6:18 pm

Please try to do some research on this. Better still, ask us Canadians what we think of our system. We have a not perfect system–which country has it anyway? But we love it. We choose our own doctors and if they’re bozos we ask for another. We do have a shortage due to shortsighted policies, but it’s been addressed. Since l973, we’ve enjoyed a much higher standard of care, a humane vision and a far more EFFICIENT and AFFORDABLE system than you south of the border.

The Canadian system is far superior to the American. I am grateful to my country for having the foresight and ability to see ahead and not beyond some fanatic neocon agenda that prefers to give big bucks to insurance companies, and not to the people who bailed them out recently.

Canada-bashing will get you nowhere close to the truth. Come up and see us some time. As they say, ‘break a leg’, good luck and visit our hospitals. At least you won’t be kicked out if you don’t have a penny on you.
don’t let the fanatic insurance peddlers do your thinking for you. Canadians love their system – 86% vs 13%. What does that tell you???

catlady

August 28th, 2009
6:30 pm

For every dissatisfied Canadian, I would bet we have 5000 dissatisfied Americans–or more.

Bo Diddly Squat

August 28th, 2009
6:31 pm

Marryanne

August 28th, 2009
5:52 pm

“Bob, Since when has going to the doctor been like going to Super Cuts. In case you forget what the real world is like, you cant just “walk in” to your General Physician and be seen.”

Yes I can.

“Same goes in an emergency room. If your “emergency” is not life threatening, you are passed over for the ones which are.”

I guess your getting in and out with a cold is much more important than the person just brought in with a heart attack…..duhhhhh….the freaking ignorance of some people.

Bo Diddly Squat

August 28th, 2009
6:32 pm

Canadians suck.

Bo Diddly Squat

August 28th, 2009
6:34 pm

Problem with SOME Americans is they believe it’s MINE and YOUR responsibility to pay THEIR way through life.

Zeek

August 28th, 2009
7:02 pm

Bob — to answer you rhetorical question, no, Americans haven’t been crossing the Canadian border in droves to avail themselves of Canada’s utopian health care system.

No, they’ve headed for sunnier climes. In pairs and small groups, they’ve inflated tractor inner tubes and they are floating across the balmy, warm 90 miles of ocean to get to the home of the best health care in the world, in Castro’s Cuba.

I echo the sentiments above. If you long for Canadian-style health care, please emigrate to Canada. Such a move will simultaneously raise the IQ of both countries.

OpinionsMatter

August 28th, 2009
7:33 pm

How many of the posters on here have actually had a health care experience in another country. Let me tell you about mine. While on a trip to France recently, I came down with what seemed like the flu. Unable to get out of bed, I called down to the front desk at the hotel to explain my situation. Within an hour, a doctor came to my hotel to examine me and determine what was wrong. (Can you imagine getting a house call in the US?) The prescriptions he wrote me (five in all) cost less than $40. And I was a visitor!

Keep trying the scare tactics. The truth is that government-run health care in other countries is much more advanced, and preferable to what we currently have in the US.

Roose

August 28th, 2009
7:38 pm

Mr. Barr: I didn’t think the central issue was if a primary or specialist doctor would see you quickly; but whether or not your private insurance would pay for the visits and how long.

Roose

August 28th, 2009
8:00 pm

the problem is we have an issue with health care coverage, not availablility of services. The issue centers on whether or not the insurance company will pay for visits and for how long.

Roose

August 28th, 2009
8:05 pm

Don’t we have 17,500 or more Canadians who work on the US side of the border? Can somebody compute the percent of 35 million!!

catlady

August 28th, 2009
8:14 pm

Let me get this straight: if we allow “those people” (the uninsured) to have insurance and thus make it more likely for them to go to the doctor, WE (the insured) will have to wait longer for an appointment. And WE don’t want to have to wait!

Reminds me of an article in the AARP Bulletin a year or so ago that said for older folks to claim chest pain whenever they went to the ER, so they would get moved to the front of the line. Cut finger? Claim chest pain. Upset stomach, claim chest pain.

You get the drift.

catlady

August 28th, 2009
8:18 pm

Brittancus–everify is a joke. Our local largest agricultural business has an employee whose job it is to make sure those without the correct papers get them. As long as everify does not include retina scans or something like that, it merely matches a name with a SS number. If you have an ID with your picture and someone else’s name but the correct SS number, you pass with flying colors.

Reform Will Happen

August 28th, 2009
8:23 pm

Chris Broe

August 28th, 2009
1:39 pm
Healthcare is as good as the doctor. Most doctors are incompetent. America, heal thyself. (doctors B good sailors, though).

Waelll thet assesmunt don’t say much then for 4 years of med school, 6 years or residency, 8 of the first years in an ER, and hundreds of CME conferences and hours of readin’.

Ah always done thought health care do depend on the doctor, ole Chris presciently done got that much right, but it also do depend on a few other things lahk:

When the inshorrrance compney drops the patient flat on their butt as happens with 430 JawJaws per day, and drops the patient flat on their butt when they get a significant illness lahk say breast cancer, then they don’t got no doctor.

And Barr read a non-representative skewed study and used it for the springboard of a little column and he gets paid for that.

Canadian health care in many ways is superior to US health care. We aren’t talking the cream of healthcare when it’s assessed; we’re talking about healthcare delivery to all 306+ million Americans alive now.

If 12 million have been dropped in the last few years, 18,000 died shortly after being dropped last year that ain’t good.

Healthcare also is as good as the insurance to cover it and the ability to get medicines and equipment needed for the patient. Since Bill Frist and the Repubos deep sixed Medicare Part D and created a huge donut, many elderly patients ain’t gettin’ the meds you are compelled to Rx for ‘em.

The non competitive bid element that has Medicare headed for the red in 8 years was simply conceived. Repubos led by Bill Frist played Bunny Ranch with Pharma and the Insurance companies just as the Senate Finace Six has now–delaying things so they can skam more money from their corporate employers.

Bob Barr’s old haunt, the House is not passing anything without a vibrant public option and they won;t cave. And we can split the bill in the Senate and use Reconciliation to get a Senate public option to Conference.

All you whackjobs who think that the coop flops are going to be passed are delusional. Ain’t happenin.

Thank ya Chris for your clinically experienced assessment even though you couldn’t get one toe into a freshman gross anatomy class anywhere on the planet.

catlady

August 28th, 2009
8:28 pm

Michael Smith at 9:48. Well, clean water, air, and food are all products of someone’s labor (since without oversight we would be in a worse mess than we are now.) So I guess we have no right to those, since someone labors to provide them. Get you some of those grapes from Chile and live on that superfund dump, Michael.

Say What Say Huh?

August 28th, 2009
8:47 pm

I keep hearing this talk about ERs and how no one is turned away yadda yadda yah. I know SO MANY INSURED people who wouldn’t go to an ER unless their life literally depended on it. It’s $500 just to walk in the friggin door. To you idiots who believe illegal immigrants are over running the system, please stop drinking the right wing fear mongering koolaid and allow someone other than Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to think for you. I wonder what the good folks of Canada think about the 1 million+ Americans who have used their system ILLEGALLY?!

Say What Say Huh?

August 28th, 2009
8:50 pm

Furthermore, I guess folks are marching into ERs demanding to see U.S. issued birth certificates to conclude that most of the people there are here illegally? Because we all know that non-English speaking=illegal. *Smfh* The world continues to laugh at us.

Say What Say Huh?

August 28th, 2009
8:57 pm

To those who insist that private insurers couldn’t compete with a govt system: it’s mighty hard for me to be sympathetic to the plight of BILLIONAIRES who have become rich at the expense of ailing (or dead) Americans.

Say What Say Huh?

August 28th, 2009
8:57 pm

The road to hell is paved with Republicans.

Rush Limbaugh

August 28th, 2009
9:00 pm

Oxycontin is much cheaper in Canada. I’m jes sayin…

Michael H. Smith

August 28th, 2009
11:31 pm

The socialist liberal Democrats really do need a real boogieman and new talking points. Something a bit more convincing, like the truth.

Why Health Insurers Make Lousy Villains

Government interrogators are unlikely to find abuses on that scale among health insurers. While the rest of the economy has collapsed, most parts of the healthcare sector have remained reasonably stable. So odds are that any bonuses paid at least went out of profitable firms. With profits in many other industries depressed, health insurance profit margins probably rank higher than they normally would, compared with other industries. And a number of health insurance organizations, such as Kaiser and the Blue Cross plans, are nonprofits. They can still pay high salaries, but since there’s no stock or stock options, there are fewer ways for big shots to earn lavish bonuses.

Among the large, for-profit health insurers, profit margins line up with the industry as a whole. UnitedHealthGroup, the biggest health insurer, had a 4.1 percent profit margin over the past 12 months. WellPoint, the next biggest, had a 4 percent profit margin. Aetna, Cigna, and Humana came in below that.

Health insurers turn out to be underperformers compared with the other parts of the healthcare sector. Pharmaceutical companies have a profit margin of 16.4 percent—seventh highest of the 215 industries that Morningstar tracks. Others segments of healthcare with margins well above the median include healthcare information (9.4 percent), home healthcare firms (8.5 percent), medical labs (8.2 percent), and generic drugmakers (6.5 percent).

The big money, in other words, isn’t in the insurance industry. If it’s anywhere, it’s in the pharmaceutical industry. But the Obamanauts appear to have reached a kind of détente with Big Pharma in exchange for that industry’s tepid support for some kind of reform. So Obama and his foot soldiers need to look elsewhere for black hats.

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/flowchart/2009/08/25/why-health-insurers-make-lousy-villains.html

Tom Barksdale

August 29th, 2009
6:29 am

This statistic is absolutely meaningless without specifics, e.g, what is the income of the Candaians who came to the U.S.? What specific medical care did they believe they wre lacking in Canada? Did they come because of some long wait in Canada threatened their health, or simply because it was more convenient to come south–and they had the money to pay for the visit?

To the question, why do Americans not travel to Canada for health care, I would offer this one: Canada is a democracy. If their health care is so terrible, why do they put up with it? And: How many Canadians would trade their health system for the one in the U.S., which costs almost double per capita but, in the end, produces less quality health care?

Meanwhile, for the real story on Canada’s system, go here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-mann/americans-whove-used-cana_b_215256.html

Some quotes:
“There’s another, factual view – by those of us Americans who’ve lived in Canada and used their system.
My wife and I did for years, and we’ve been incensed by the lies we’ve heard back here in the U.S. about Canada’s supposedly broken system.
It’s not broken – and what’s more, Canadians like and fiercely defend it.”

About callers to a Canadian radio program, commenting on a comprehensive study of the Canadian system: “For the next two hours, scores of Canadians called from across that vast country, from Newfoundland to British Columbia. Not one said he or she would change the system. Every single one defended it vigorously.”

Not long ago, the CBC asked Canadians to nominate and then vote for The Greatest Canadian in history. The winner? greatest Canadian ever? Tommy Douglas, a Canadian politician – and the father of Canadian universal health care.

Fred

August 29th, 2009
7:06 am

How many Canadians have to decide between going bankrupt or getting treatment for their child with a “pre-existing condition?” NONE!

If you would like to help pressure Congress to pass single payer health care please join our voting bloc at:
http://www.votingbloc.org/Health_Bloc.php

Michael H. Smith

August 29th, 2009
9:07 am

Interesting article, not exactly the kind of results some would like to see.

Health Insurance and Bankruptcy Rates in Canada and the United States

In a recent update to a previous study, Himmelstein et al (2009) concluded that in 2007, uninsured medical expenses or loss of income due to illness “caused” nearly two-thirds (62.1 percent) of all non-business bankruptcies in the United States. The authors blame this on America’s pluralistic health insurance system. Himmelstein and co-author Woolhandler are well-known proponents of Canada’s government-run, single-payer medical insurance system. The implicit assumption of their study is that a single-payer system would have prevented or significantly reduced the number of bankruptcies observed in the United States. Following this logic, we should expect to observe a lower rate of bankruptcy in Canada compared to the United States, all else being equal. Yet the most recent data shows that the non-business bankruptcy rate in Canada is statistically the same as it is in the United States.

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/researchandpublications/publications/6786.aspx

Reality check

August 29th, 2009
9:15 am

0.05% (that is not 5%, it is 0.05%) of Canadians can’t be wrong.

Michael H. Smith

August 29th, 2009
10:07 am

If only Obumer had made Bernie Madoff the healthcare czar the ponzi scheme of socialized-single payer-medicine would be a great success. One person with so many financially ruined former clients can’t be wrong.

clyde

August 29th, 2009
10:16 am

According to Bankruptcy Canada,the leading cause of bankruptcy there is job loss.The second on the list is divorce and third is job loss due to medical conditions.Being unable to work for an extended period of time.

toronto guy

August 29th, 2009
11:47 am

Canadian system is broken

They want to come to US for care

Visit http://www.fasterhealthcare.com and see for yourself

roger hughes

August 29th, 2009
1:14 pm

While the Cdn health system may not be perfect it does weed out those habitual. People taking up Dr time and running up. Health costs for every little ache and pain. As a visitor to Canada every year I have had nothing but the best and most efficient care when. Needed.

Andisheh Nouraee

August 29th, 2009
6:14 pm

Approximately 75 percent of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border.

Yet, by your own count, a mere 5/100th of one percent of Canadians have come to the U.S. for health care this year. 33 million people live in Canada.

A 2008 Deloitte study estimates 6 million Americans will travel abroad this year for medical care — approximately two percent of the U.S. population.

In other words, Americans go abroad for medical treatment roughly 40 times as often as Canadians come to the U.S. for treatment — even though the overwhelming majority of Canadians can drive here in less than two hours.

big dog

August 30th, 2009
7:53 am

Gandhi, Most American place their health care above a sheaf fo scratch offs, visits to the clubs, MLB, NBA< NFL, and little visits to the joints for a tad. It is called personal responsibility. It is not my responsibility to pay for your health care.

clyde

August 30th, 2009
8:08 am

It shouldn’t be my responsibility to educate your children,seeing as how mine are out of the school system,but I have to pay.

Jim

August 30th, 2009
8:33 am

I would be willing to wager that “Michael Smith” is a lobbyist for an insurance company (or several), a pharmaceutical company (or several) or Republican PAC.

No one could be so insistent and consistently wrong without having a sizeable financial stake in the outcome.

Les Horn

August 30th, 2009
10:03 am

It’s all about control and buying votes.

Chris Salzmann

August 30th, 2009
11:20 am

The Professor August 28th, 2009 3:54 pm SAID: Can someone…….anyone show me where in any of the plans it calls for covering illegal aliens? I am too lazy to look for it but I am sure it is there. I am not the only one that mention the illegals.

CHRIS SAYS: In fact, the legislation specifically states that “undocumented aliens” will NOT be eligible for credits to help them buy health insurance, in Section 246 on page 143.

Chris Salzmann

August 30th, 2009
11:23 am

Jim August 30th, 2009 8:33 am SAID: I would be willing to wager that “Michael Smith” is a lobbyist for an insurance company (or several), a pharmaceutical company (or several) or Republican PAC.

No one could be so insistent and consistently wrong without having a sizeable financial stake in the outcome.

CHRIS SAYS: About 50,000 insurance company employees have made phone calls, written letters or attended health care town halls, according to America’s Health Insurance Plans, the major insurance industry association. AHIP, which opposes the public option, sent a memo to employees earlier this month with a list of “town hall tips.” The memo stresses that the employees stay calm and courteous, addressing members of Congress as “Congressman” or “Senator,” and saying thank you.

Consequence OfChoices

August 30th, 2009
11:53 am

All Americans (and illegals) can walk into to any hospital emergency room and cannot be refused treatment, so really everyone has health care availability already. Most us however choose to make financial sacrifices and pay for our healthcare through private plans for our families. Those who don’t choose to make those sacrifices (buy cigarettes/alcohol, go on vacations, eat out meals, etc), should not expect free healthcare from the rest of us.

Dunwoody Mike

August 30th, 2009
12:28 pm

Consequence OfChoices,

Cutting out going to Applebee’s really doesn’t help if you had been diagnosed with cancer or got into a severe automobile accident.
And your idea, of just going to the ER all the time, is a factor that drives up costs.

Rush Limbaugh

August 30th, 2009
2:49 pm

Hey Chris, they don’t hear you. Nor do they WANT to. Still waiting for someone, anyone, to show us a country in the world that is lobbying en masse for a US-type health system. I’ll get comfortable.

By the way, I know where you can get Oxycontin for the low in Canada.

Michael H. Smith

August 30th, 2009
3:53 pm

Michael H. Smith

August 30th, 2009
3:54 pm

Michael H. Smith

August 30th, 2009
3:54 pm

Canadian Health Officials: Our Universal Health Care Is ‘Sick,’ Private Insurance Should Be Welcomed

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,539943,00.html

Michael H. Smith

August 30th, 2009
3:55 pm

A Victory for Freedom: The Canadian Supreme Court’s Ruling on Private Health Care

http://www.heritage.org/research/healthcare/hl892.cfm

Richard Mertens

August 30th, 2009
3:58 pm

OK boys & girls a small little quiz: Your grandpa is 86 years old and takes 3 meds for congestive heart failure, a water pill and one for his early stage dementia. He’s had general weakness for a year or so and can’t get around except with a walker and someone keeping an eye on him. His diabetes which cropped up 4 years ago gave him a case of nerve pain in the legs and his kidneys are only at about 35%. Somedays he can’t hold his water. He falls and breaks his hip and the surgeon says he will need a ball & socket but he will not give him one. Why won’t the surgeon give him the ball & socket surgery? Answer: the risks are high that grandpa would not survive the surgery and surgery mortalities count against a physicians record. Grandpa’s health rationed the surgery. There are family members I’ve seen convince their parent that they should “trust God and pray for a miracle” and sign away the informed consent. Usually the miracle is a permantently disabled patient who will never leave bed and spends about a year or so rotting away in some nursing home. We can keep you alive but is so often disrespectful and cruel that it reveals it’s really about us and not the patient at all.

Michael H. Smith

August 30th, 2009
4:16 pm

So long as it is about us and our doctors, not the damn government, YIPPEE!!!!

Tom Benham

August 30th, 2009
5:15 pm

Bob’s comment makes two incorrect assumptions: 1. A US system will be the same as the Canadian system. Nothing of this nature is proposed. 2. The second assumption displays a lack of knowledge about how things work in Canada. They are very different than will occur in the US even if we did have the same system. An example: Walmart is building or having built a new store in Victoria, BC. It started last summer and is barely out of the ground more than a year later. I predict it will take at least two years to complete. A new Sam”s was built in Oakwood, GA in less than six months. This is just one illustration of how things work differently in Canada versus the US. Bob just doesn’t have any confidence that citizens in the US who happen to be government employees as he has been can do things in an efficient manner.

Tom Benham

DaveG

August 30th, 2009
7:26 pm

There are two obvious fallacies to Barr’s observation, even if it is accurate. First, in Canada it is the wealthy who might leave for health care: they already have a minimum level of service and may wish to pay for a more prominent specialist. In the US in contrast, it is the uninsured, people with limited disposable income, who might consider leaving for health care.

Second, standardizing our health insurance system would provide a substantial economic benefit for all, aside from the care offered to any individual. This is because the uncertainty and difficulty in getting insurance, in addition to the huge costs, are a significant economic problem for anyone at risk of losing his or her job, or contemplating leaving a job to establish a new business. And the problem is even worse if the individual has any existing health issues. Removing these insecurities and controlling costs are a major benefit to everyone, whether or not they’re sick.

[...] for his AJC blog Friday, Republican-turned-Libertarian Bob Barr touted the overwhelming success and popularity of Canada’s single-payer, government-run health [...]

Chris Salzmann

August 31st, 2009
1:23 am

Michael H. Smith August 30th, 2009 4:16 pm SAID: So long as it is about us and our doctors, not the damn government, YIPPEE!!!!

CHRIS SAYS: So you obviously have a problem with the current system which is between the doctors, us and the INSURANCE COMPANIES, if you’re self employed or work for a small business that offers limited Health Insurance. Your argument doesn’t hold any water and is completely nonsensical.

Here are some FACTS:

1) People who have health insurance through medium to larger companies with comprehensive health plans, will CONTINUE with those plans.
2) For these same people, health insurance companies ALREADY have mandates regarding pre-existing conditions i.e, they have to accept all these folks, even with pre-existing conditions.
3) The health insurance reform bill is aimed at those folks who have NO insurance, or who are UNDER-INSURED with policies that have a large number of exceptions for pre-existing conditions. These type of policies are mostly held by small business owners, their employees or the self employed. These type of self-insurance policies are cash cows for health insurance companies…I know because I have among others, a health insurance license.

BTW, Medicare is a government run health insurance plan. Based on your illogical assumption, everyone under Medicare should HATE what they have. THEY DON’T. So you obviously don’t have a clue.

Bob Barr also doesn’t have a clue because the Health Insurance Reform Bill is not switching us to a single payer system. Makes me wonder how much he’s getting paid to write this piece of garbage. You listening to me Bob? You obviously don’t have clue either!

Chris Salzmann

August 31st, 2009
1:31 am

Consequence OfChoices August 30th, 2009 11:53 am SAID: All Americans (and illegals) can walk into to any hospital emergency room and cannot be refused treatment, so really everyone has health care availability already. Most us however choose to make financial sacrifices and pay for our healthcare through private plans for our families.

CHRIS SAYS: Emergency rooms should be for EMERGENCIES. You want me to SPELL that out for you??? You don’t go to an emergency room if you are suffering from CANCER, DIABETES or a chronic illness that requires LONG TERM CARE!!! Which clueless planet do you live on?

Have you ever had a private health insurance plan directly through an insurance company??? You obviously don’t because you don’t know what you’re talking about. 18000 people die in this country because of lack of health care insurance or because their insurance plans don’t cover many conditions. Over 60% of personal bankruptcies in this country are due to medical related costs. So, please don’t tell us that EMERGENCY ROOMS are the answer!!!

Allyana Ziolko

August 31st, 2009
5:17 am

17,500 Canadians can AFFORD medical treatment in the U.S. Over 1,000,000 American CANNOT afford medical treatment in the U.S. Duh.

marilyn

August 31st, 2009
11:57 am

I will not be getting the flu vaccine as I have read about the “possible” side effects that are life altering. There are alternatives that I have been using for years and am happy to report that I cannot remember the last time I was laid up with anything! I have been using Viralox which is made with colostrum and is support for the immune function and improvement of health. There is no gamble with taking colostrum, but with the vaccine, it’s like playing russian roulette. Not for me. Or my family. There is lots of information on the flu at http://www.newlifehealthsolutions.com. Be well.

John

August 31st, 2009
11:35 pm

I live in ajax, ontario about 40 minutes east of Toronto. The doctors and the quality of care in Canada is top notch but you have to wait a lot. I have only been to an emergency room about 4 times in my life. In all 4 cases i waited from 3 hours at the least to 14 hours at the most. Once i got care, it was great. When i had terrible headaches I sought treatment and from the first appointment to the diagnosis and finally, the procedure i needed, i waited 1.5 years in pain. But, when i got the simple angioplast it was free ( i was 17) and medical staff was great. More recently i had to wait 4 months to see a dermatologist, but once i got my foot in the door he was able to give me great care and i got access to many other doctors with only a few weeks wait after that.
So overall, i’d say our system has great doctors and im glad everyone is covered but the excessive waiting is inhumane and i think we can do better. I know that outcomes for heart disease and cancer is better in the states than in Canada or Europe and I think that is because of the waiting we do up here.

Nick

September 2nd, 2009
9:23 am

what is all this talk about americans not being able to get care because they’re uninsured? no one in an emergency room has ever been turned away because they don’t have insurance. that said, i have 2 canadian friends. i asked them for the facts about their healthcare system. much to my dismay as a libertarian, they said it is “flat out, the best thing about being canadian. no waiting. no problems.” they even said, and i almost got sick myself when i heard it, “sicko, that movie by michael moore, got it right.” go figure!

Paul

September 3rd, 2009
8:09 pm

I’m in the US and my daughter-in-law is a Canadian in Ontario. She had been suffering for a long time and has not been able to work for the last 4 years, and when she tried to consult with a Naturpathic Doctor to find out why she was still so ill, her Doctor of many years told her he could no longer treat her and she had to find a new OHIP Doctor. She has been calling and can not find a new doctor, but she called around and finally was able to make an appointment to see a specialist, who discovered she has a baseball-sized cyst on her ovary. The doctor said he would like to surgically remove it now, but said he could not schedule the operation sooner than in six months.

She IS very happy with her OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan), but she also has never felt she had the option to easily change doctors or get a second opinion.

BK3K

September 5th, 2009
4:12 am

“(about 17 million Canadians)” – fancy that – from the CIA.GOV website. The population fof Canada is 33,212,696 (July 2008 est.) That’s no small discrepancy of numbers…

“some 17,500 Canadian have come to the U.S. to receive health care”
so 17500 out of 33,212,696 (July 2008 est.) Canadians came to the US to receive hearth care. Yes, assuming your number doesn’t include some of the same Canadians multiple times for multiple visits, 1 out of every 1897.86 Canadian Citizens has come here for health care – yes 0.05% of all Canadians… real significant statistic Bob. [/sarcasm]

I could go on with WHO statistics or mention non-profit medical operations(intended for 3rd world countries) operating here, but I’m sure other comments have covered it. Maybe, I could mention various advanced procedures like hand transplantation etc which where first successfully pioneered and performed in countries with “socialized health care” rather than our own. That’s all the tip of the iceberg.

Regarding wait times – Canada’s system is single payer, not truly socialized like in the UK. This means that the doctors are not Government employees. If you walk in with cash, I’m sure you walk out having had your health attended too. That sounds alot more like our own system, no?

“During that same period, how many Americans have traveled north to obtain health care in Canada because they couldn’t get it here in the States?”

None – because to receive that heath care in Canada, you need an ID card that shows you are eligible. I’m sure tons of Americans(like myself) WOULD go there for that… if they could. But, Americans wouldn’t have ID cards for a Canadian health care system, would they? Note how that also excludes illegal immigrants etc from their system – and also note that they don’t have the illegal immigrant problem we do. (hint)(hint)

I like you Mr. Barr, and I hope you will end up our president some day, but that talking point you made is based on ignorance, and this “article” is worth about as much as non-alcoholic beer at a frat party.

If Canada’s system was SO BAD, then explain why they visit the doctor far more often than we do (hence the wait times for less critical operations), live longer, and somehow still spend MUCH LESS of their GDP on healthcare?

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t actually endore “Obamacare” specifically. It fails on many fronts – but it is blissfully ignorant to pretend that we need anything short of major health care reform in this nation.

Steve

September 7th, 2009
2:44 pm

Bob Barr much like the idiots opposing universal health care cites the statistics of Canadians who come to America for health care.

What Barr and others fail to tell you the reader is that the costs are being borne by the Canadian Government, What he also fails to mention is that the surgeries that Canadians sought in America is not a symptom of failure in the Canadian System but a success in that it eliminates the need for the Canadian Govt to spend billions in hospitals and equipment.

In other word Barr the Govt of Canada did their buy/ build studies and found it cheaper to buy. In America we just throw money at problems without thought. The Canadian Govt did otherwise. Why build it when we can buy it cheaper?

William in Lithoinia

September 7th, 2009
6:53 pm

This debate was bound to happen as technology has increased the cost of health care far beyond what the average person with increasingly lower wages can afford.

I’m sorry to see that some people err on the side of only the rich can afford health care and the rest of us should just go bankrupt.

Medical Bankruptcies are 65% of all bankruptcies and of those medical bankruptcies 75% of those people were paying for health insurance at some point.

You can’t just pick up the phone and go to a primary physician if you don’t have insurance or the money, and some times you have insurance but don’t have the deductable.

A 2006 article “More Americans Seeking Surgery Abroad” states that India has seen a 45% increase in patients seeking care in the previous two years.

Health Insurance profits have increased 1000% in the past decade as premiums have increased 300%.

Many of the uninsured are those who need it the most, the one’s with pre-existing conditions.

It most disturbs me to hear an objection to paying for undocumented people’s health care. As our declaration of independence states all men are crated equal, with unalienable rights…

Our immigration policy is inhumane and needs to change.

We provide medical care for enemy combatants on a battle field and you suggest we shouldn’t provide health care for those who pick your lettuce for half a living wage?

Insurance reform is what were talking about and is what we need. Insurance reform will bring in more paying people and will allow them to go to a primary physician for a real change rather than going to the emergency room when problems get worse and more expensive.

I am glad that anyone can go to an emergency room now and get critical care, it’s the least we can do as a civilized humane society, but not only are problems worse due to lack of prevention, one visit to the emergency room costs as much as a year of primary care.

I realize there are those who have an intolerant ideology about what government can and can not do. It is ironic how they can spend trillions on two wars against people who did not attack us but all of a sudden have principles when it comes to basic health care insurance.

Insurance is just a pool of people who gather together and put all their money in a pot so if one gets sick their bills are paid for – because anyone of us can come down with severe illness or injury.

The larger the pool the lower the costs. There is no reason for insurance corporations who skim profits and deny coverage to get inbetween Americans and their health care.

Republicans claim the government can’t do anything and point to Medicare going broke as an example. But Republicans were the one’s who have underfunded Medicare the past decade as they were handed a surplus from Bill Clinton when the Democrats passed a budget that gave us a surpluss in 1994 without any Republican votes.

750,000 Americans sought major health care abroad last year, while about 1.5 million are expected to do so this year, according to a Deloitte Center report.

The number of people heading abroad for “medical tourism” could jump tenfold in the next decade, to nearly 16 million Americans a year seeking cheaper knee and hip replacements, nose jobs, prostate and shoulder surgery, and even heart bypasses, according to a forecast by health care consultants at the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/international/2008/November/Medical-Tourism-Ailing-in-Global-Financial-Downturn.html

ech2os

September 9th, 2009
12:06 pm

If you want to pay 50 to 60% of your income in taxes, go ahead and move to that wonderful country up North. There you can sit in your house with no disposable income patiently awaiting the day you can use your government provided insurance once you get the cancer. Sounds great!!

What changed in the last 10 years ? What changed since the 70s when you could basically expect free health insurance from your employer ? Answer those questions and maybe you have the answer to health care reform.

Andrew

September 10th, 2009
12:07 am

How much you want to bet that a significant portion of that 17500 Canadians getting treatment in the states is just Canadians who happen to be in the states when they need to see a doctor.

bagoverheadguy

September 14th, 2009
10:29 am

The perception by most in the U.S. is that our health care system, which is run by each of our provinces, is free. To some it is, but Canadians by and large, pay premiums. I pay $67./mo, but am healthy, so seldom use the system. With regard to wait times, I had a minor cancer procedure done by a specialist, and my ‘wait time’ from diagnosis to operation was about 4 weeks. Ever so slowly, our ’second option’ is developing, and that is called ‘private health clinics’ where sophisticated medical centres are being set up for folks that don’t want to ‘wait in line’ for their health procedures, and pay a substantial premium to have themselves looked after outside the public system. However, is the issue not that while we may have some wait times in our system in Canada, but the fact that all Canadians have access to this system, whereby in America, you have 40 million citizens who are virtually shut out of care. Is this not the issue???

[...] 17500 Canadians Can’t Be Wrong [...]