your health care system

Feb 14th, 2010, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Are these rhetorical questions?

No, we keep hearing how bad the Canadian system is, yet nothing even near it is suggested for here, (we should be that lucky) and I think that they are legitimate questions to which I don't have the answers nor do I recall them ever being asked - how the system really "works."

No system is perfect. But the US has managed to come up with a patchwork quilt of prooposals that enforces the status quo with things that have not been done before or have been done and failed.

Thank you for your answers.

I doubt that anyone would go bankrupt traveling here for care ... as it is only the very wealthy who can afford to do so - often paying up front for all costs (besides the provider who ensure that the pt has assests they could attach to pay the bill - not sure that would work between countries!)

I recall that there was a gentleman in FL who needed hospitalization (maybe for an MI) and it was cheaper to send a charter plane down to pick him up and transport him back to Canada for tx rather than his being treated in a local hospital. I don't know how often or if that was a "quirk" but somehow I doubt it.
beachplum is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 12:28 PM
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For clarificaiton, this thread was originally posted in the Canada forum; the editors must have moved it to the Lounge.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 12:32 PM
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I take it then that your friends, family and neighbors don't have to rely on spaghetti dinners and other "charity" fund-raising to pay for care. That would be a nice advantage.

It is simply amazing that other western countries pay 1/3 to 1/2 of what we pay for care here and yet manage to get better results. And, of course, that is lost in the conversation. And after a year of discussion, we are still no further along in the process - other than enriching the for-profit private industries that have screwed us for years and got us to where we are today.
beachplum is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 12:35 PM
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beachplumb, this is one area where you and I are in complete agreement.
laurieco is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 12:55 PM
Original Poster
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Neil. YOu are most welcome on this thread or any other I post. I like diverse ideas and opinions.
maribethp is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 01:07 PM
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your health care system Posted by: maribethp on Feb 13, 10 at 4:42pm

As the USA moves to a different type of health care system, would any Canadina resident care to give some experiences or facts with the type of system you have in your country?
Good points, problems, experiences. thanks

Given the U.S. and Canada's many commonalities and the fact that they share a continent, it seems like a fair question. Why such criticism towards maribethp?
boots08 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 01:32 PM
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"it seems like a fair question. "

Canadian system ( and British, and Australian) has been explained over and over on many threads. There is a ton of information on Gov. websites.
Anecdotal information is just that - some people have had nothing but good experiences, some not so much.
In either country.
Canadians have become a bit suspicious due to constant bashing of our system by the American right.
danon is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 01:41 PM
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"Has anyone in Canada ever filed for bankruptcy because of health care costs?

You might want to look at the facts regarding this claim. It is mythology. The Harvard study was the most widely touted example of this. Of the 1700 people surveyed, half cited "medical related" reasons as the main driver of filing for bankruptcy, not medical bills. That includes everything from gambling, drug addiction, and psychiatric disorders to being unable to work due to illness or disability (and not having the same income as before). Of those surveyed only 25% had unpaid medical bills exceeding $1000, and for the 50% citing "medical related", the average out of pocket medical expenses incurred in the full year preceding bankruptcy filing was $3500, an average of $300 per month. That is hardly being "bankrupted" due to medical bills. It involves something happening where they cannot maintain the same income levels as before the event and need to get out of debt they already have so file for chapter 7.

Just another fraudulent claim in an endless string of them on this forum.
weimarer is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 02:06 PM
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for the sleuths among you, accusing maribethp, please read up for ShellyDawn's post

The first thread was in the lounge and had Canada in the title. Someone on that thread suggested maribethp should also post in the Canada forum. Not such a good suggestion really, but she did, which is why this (2nd) thread just says "your health care system". Then the editors moved it here since it's not about travel.

IMO, well never mind. Beachplum is exactly right. Enough trying more of the same, forcing even more people to the wolves who ultimately broke things to begin with.

I find the information maribethp is collecting enlightening. I hope most of us are intelligent enough to not let individual cases cloud our ability to measure the efficiency of an entire system. Having experienced both the US system and the Australian, I hope I never have to function within the US insurance side of things again (hospitals and doctors are fine), but I worry for my family.
Clifton is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 02:13 PM
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A recent study on medical causes of bankruptcy in the U.S. can be found at

62% of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical, and 92% of all medical debts were over $5000. These figures, and the others quoted, are quite different from those claimed by Weimarer.
chartley is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 05:30 PM
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It seems the real crunch is yet to come. All of us in the developed world are facing the same looming problem - escalating costs resulting from an ageing population combined with increasingly sophisticated and expensive medical technology.

According to one estimate I saw US health costs will rise from the present 16-17% of GDP to 25% by (I think) 2050. That assumes no real change in the current approach. Obviously there's a lot of fat in the American system, but the political obstacles in the way of cutting it out are truly intimidating.

If the Obama administration can't get the support it needs to take on the vested interests in the insurance and pharma industries it's hard to see how any subsequent government will do any better. For Americans' sake, especially those who most need help, I hope that this is not unduly pessimistic.

Here, the period 1945-1975, when the foundations of the current system were laid, was a politically propitious time, despite opposition by vested interests such as the doctors' lobby. I don't know how well we'd do in these more timid times.
Neil_Oz is offline  

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