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Small Cabin Forum / Off Topic / Canadian health care
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Smawgunner
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 17:02
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Hello up North!
I hope I'm not opening a big can of worms but was wondering what you thought of your healthcare system. I believe it is a single-payer system correct? What do you find good about it and what do you find not so good.

littlesalmon4
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 18:15
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Here in the Yukon it is all Free. Even having babies is free.
Things like dental, eye glasses are user pay unless you have insurance.
Most of the provinces pay a monthly premium i think.
I has been 30 years since I lived in a province.

Just
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 18:42
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tomorrow I go for my every 8 week dose of Remicade,the bill will be for $5400.00 I pay '0'$ I have been receiving the stuff for 10 years free , without it I Would be in a wheelchair , Canadian taxes are high but if you get sick its great.

Wendigolake
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 18:50
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I pay $900 a year as an additional surtax on my income tax towards my health care here in Ontario. If I get very sick like my Dad did with prostrate cancer, I don't have to worry about losing my life savings paying for medical care. If I am sick I go to my doctor (whom I chose) and get treated. I never worry about what my visit is going to cost or if I can afford the cost of the treatment.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 19:36
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Quoting: littlesalmon4
Here in the Yukon it is all Free


So all these doctors volunteers? Who donates the materials and equipment? And is the staff also volunteers?

Wendigolake
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 19:49 - Edited by: Wendigolake
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No volunteer doctors or nurses in any province. The provincial and territorial governments pay the doctors and nurses and set fee schedules. Our taxes pay for hospital constructions, doctors, nurses and most equipment.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 19:55
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So its not free, its done by your taxes that are collected from taxpayers.

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 20:17 - Edited by: MtnDon
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The "free" word should probably not be used. We all know health care is not free; somebody does pay the doctors, nurses, hospitals, et al. There is no out of pocket expense at time of service when you are covered by the Canadian system.

I have family in Canada. They are happy Canadians; love to visit places in the USA but will not move here... not even to be closer to their dear brother , whom they do visit frequently.


Quoting: Just
Canadian taxes are high


When you compare taxes paid by Canadians and Americans there is actually not much difference, especially when health insurance costs are factored in. Google it; many articles can be found, some lean slightly towards Canadians paying a little more and others indicating Americans pay more taxes. In part, it depends on your income level and what state you live in. Canadian provincial tax rates are mostly the same IIRC, whereas some US states have no state income tax. When comparing one must also look at other benefits such as better unemployment insurance benefits as well as having better maternity benefits. I use the term better as meaning the recipient gets more. I have American friends who do not see that as better, so I thought I'd explain my meaning.


Just slightly off this topic,but close enough I feel.... my personal physician (here in NM) is moving to Canada. He is tired of many of the same things the rest of us who live here are fed up with; dealing with private health insurance companies.

Interesting article on administrative costs between the Canadian and the American systems.


I tried to keep the politics out of my reply. I hope this does not get censored.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 21:43
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Our Healthcare is paid by Federal & Provincial Taxes. Everyone is PAID and no one is a Volunteer ! Shakes head at such a comment...

Cost to Patient / User is NIL !
If you want Private Room, you pay extra...
If you need crutches for your busted leg, $50 deposit, you get it back or buy them.
If you need an Ambulance - May be covered or not, depends on situation & location.
If you need prescriptions: You pay for them, or benefit pkg covers them with a small Disp. Fee. If on Disability or Social Assistance programs it's mostly all covered.

I have had busted bones, heart attack, cancer testing & treatment, had 5 Children (wife that is) +++ ALL NO COST !

Do we pay Higher Taxes ? NO ! My GF (US Citizen) did her US taxes and we converted the 401K and related savings, retirement, tax shelter info to Cdn Equivalent (we have similar but different terms) and she would have paid 20% LESS IN CANADA just on Income Taxes. She makes a light 6 figures, so that put's her in a higher bracket.

DISCOVERY: While your "Fed & State taxes "may" appear lower, you pay many more taxes & fees overall - many of those are hidden away. That also depends on the State you reside in, as that varies a bit. Do I have the numbers ? NO. You would have to check it out yourself but I know that California is HIGH with extras while Illinois is Mid Level (but that State is near Bankrupt now so... Stand-By for big hits)

SHOULD NOTE: Hospitals here are NOT For Profit Corporate entities... They are NOT owned by Insurance Groups or Pharmaceutical companies.
You can go to ANY Hospital or Doctor THAT YOU CHOOSE (within your Province / Territory) and you are free from being "Locked into a particular HMO Group".

The Current Obamanation Universal Care program IS A ROYAL MESS and was obviously designed to fail due to extremely poor planning, legislation and the entire Private Health Care fort Profit model. They really should have looked at Global Systems in other Nations and seriously made an effort to use the "Lessons Learned" and the experience gained by Most Nations with Universal Healthcare.

Sorry if I am a tad touchy on this BUT the misinformation and intentional disinformation really puts a Burr under my saddle.

Smawgunner
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 22:02
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Thanks for the replies guys keep them coming. I think it's tough for some Americans to swallow especially conservatives. We don't like to be forced by the government to purchase a product which is what Obamacare does (or pay a fine). Competition has served us well in this country. We are also firm believers in capitalism. but our healthcare system is beyond broken so maybe a single payer system is the way to go. I don't pretend to know much about the subject but I do know that our system is not sustainable.

Just
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 22:18
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According to Wikipedia the average tax rate in Canada is43.5%
the average in the US is 31%

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 23:30 - Edited by: MtnDon
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I haven't found that reference and am not sure I believe it entirely. Income taxes or total taxes? I know I am not average but we don't pay 31% income taxes. And that raises the question of what is that 31%? 31% of taxable income? 31% of total income? Only federal taxes or an average of state taxes included? US state income tax can be 0% to 9%, approx. But then perhaps the wiki figures take into account the extra taxes on purchases that Canadians pay... the US has no federal sales tax on a pair of shoes for example.

Canadian middle class may be better off than the US middle class when everything is taken into account... health insurance, cost of drugs, education,

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 23:33
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In any event the tax question is complicated, but I feel the health industry in the USA, that is insurance costs, drug costs, test and procedure costs, is not only complicated but is a big mess and costs the average "joe" more than it should.

Just
Member
# Posted: 25 Oct 2016 23:36
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total tax and fees payed to governments I believe

Ontario lakeside
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 00:58
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Since you asked... I have had major and minor surgeries, broken limbs and other assorted hospital visits, all the care I received was Top Notch and in a reasonable amount of time. world class doctors and facilities. All with no direct cost, I don't feel over taxed.
I believe in a system where everyone has the same social safety net as I do.
I just wish we could get dental into the system.

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 01:18
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Quoting: Just
total tax and fees payed to governments I believe


OK, in that case then we need to add the costs of what those living in the USA need to pay for their health costs; insurance premiums, co-pays, deductibles and higher drug costs. I believe that would level the playing field for the vast majority of the population.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 07:48
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Quoting: Ontario lakeside
All with no direct cost, I don't feel over taxed.I believe in a system where everyone has the same social safety net as I do.I just wish we could get dental into the system.


Nailed it there and yeah. Dental is not part of the Universal Health Care, wish it was.

I would also point out that while the Mylan Epipen hit $600 USD a while back, it never crossed $300 here. Fortunately, my drug plan cover's it and only cost me $9 which is the dispensing fee for the Pharmacist. Other plans pay more and some less.

To our US Friends I will ask this and Please Ponder it... Have you ever known anyone to suffer Financial Distress / Harm as a result of Illness / Injury ? Meaning has anyone you know suffered Medical Bankruptcy, Home Loss, or been denied Medical Care due to lack of funds ?
How do you think that affects the Economy ?


Sadly, while "Obamacare" was being cooked up, the Anti-Obamacare lobbies & "interest groups" flooded a lot of negative material about ALL National Health Care systems (not just Canada) to put them into a bad light with many negatives. That lobbying & disinformation persists as those "people" want to reverse the current Obamacare plans, therefore consider that when looking at recent news & articles pertaining to Universal / National Health Care material & comparisons and the Fines Thing I won't even touch that... It is simply WRONG !

While you may not have a Federal Tax that is visible to you the consumer, there are Manufacturers Taxes and levies which are hidden in the product price for domestically produced products. While this may be less than 6% (our GST tax rate) it is still there. Consider that the US Population is somewhere roughly around 340 Million while Canada is 10% of that @ 34 Million, there is a lot of cash in those taxes...

silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 09:26 - Edited by: silverwaterlady
Reply 


There is the 13% sales tax. I don't know about income tax since I don't have one in Canada.

First hand I've seen and heard about the waiting list to get medical services in Canada that are not a emergency (that is what certain people don't consider an emergency).

My SIL a diabetic broke her arm and had to wait two weeks to see her doctor. In the meantime she rubbed Tiger
Balm on for pain...
My other SIL had to wait six months for a simple blood test. She couldn't attend a funeral in the States because she didn't want to reschedule her appointment and wait another six months.
My BIL was just diagnosed with prostate cancer at the same stage as my DH cancer but in Canada they refused the same treatment due to cost $35,000 in the USA (seed inplants) that saved my Husband's life instead my BIL is suffering the side effects of chemotherapy treatments.
My cousin dreads her colonoscopy because she has to lie on a gurney in a room with twenty other people for hours waiting and they don't put her to sleep for the procedure.
I live in a border town and it's a fact that Canadians that don't want to get on waiting lists come over here and pay cash for treatments.

On the other hand...
Canadians have more freedom to quit a soul sucking job they hate and don't have to worry about losing their medical insurance.
They don't have to worry about losing everything they worked for because someone got sick.

Thelar
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 10:07 - Edited by: Thelar
Reply 


I like the discussion. I also appreciate the comparison, but it is kinda like apples and bowling balls when we talk cost and conversions from one country to the other. Canada has a population of 37 million. US population is nearing 400 million. ACA is currently insuring between 10 million and 12 million. How much of a increase in taxes would we expect to insure the other 390 million? That said I am certainly not against healthcare for everyone, nor against a single payer system. Just saying it is much more difficult to get it right than most people think.

Just
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 10:34 - Edited by: Just
Reply 


In the US you can get the best of care in the world if you can pay and many cannot pay ,in Canada we all get good healthcare and we all pay , but sometimes good is not enough

hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 11:53
Reply 


Ha
I saw ten miles of bad road coming as soon as a saw the topic title. This is a very charged subject in the US

My eldest brother lived in France. For two years they
misdiagnosed him as having kidney stones. He finally came back to the US for an opinion. They immediately figure out it was bladder cancer and he was stage three. He then started to receive some of the best medical care available in the world from Sloan Kettering hospital but it was too late. He is no longer with us.
Not a fan of socialize medicine but do understand some of the merits as well as the pitfalls.
But I've always worked, always had medical insurance, always paid my bills and have try to live a healthy lifestyle.
Nothing is free and the government doesn't generate free money.

skootamattaschmidty
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 12:45
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As a Canadian who (knock on wood) has been healthy, I think our system is great. My father died of a blood cancer 4 years ago and he got amazing care, including palliative care right up until the end and it did not cost our family any extra. My mother gets great healthcare as well at little expense to the family. I am lucky enough to be in a job where I get great healthcare benefits including eye wear and dental as well as many prescriptions etc. I do not abuse the healthcare system however my frustration with the universal system is this: I know many people that go to the doctor for every little sniffle etc, further, in my job I see everyday where people who abuse their bodies through addictions to drugs, alcohol etc as well as very obese people who eat at McDonald's every day and drink pop all day long, clog up our healthcare system. So I do find it somewhat frustrating that the day I do I finally need healthcare, I will have to wait in line behind those that have sucked from the system for years and years because of their own unhealthy habits. Having said all that, our universal healthcare is amazing in Canada and available to everyone equally. Not everyone in my family could afford private healthcare so it is great to have it. I just wish the system could be altered to adjust for those like me that have not used or abused the system, to allow for expedited care when I actually need it and I know I will at some point. But like Ontario lakeside said, I do not feel overtaxed for having the benefit of universal healthcare.
Great topic and interesting discussion here!

CabinBuilder
Admin
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 13:40
Reply 


Ditto, skootamattaschmidty.

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 14:28
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One measure of how good a countrys heath care is might be the average life expectancy at birth. There are many factors other than just the quality of the diagnoses and care provided, such as diet. Diet may help explain why the US falls behind Canada, France, Germany, UK and 26 other countries, while spending more money per capita than any other country. Something wrong with that.

hattie
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 19:01
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When Bob had his cardiac arrest he was transported by ambulance 3 times and air ambulance once. We did not pay one dime for this. Our income is so low we were not asked to pay anything. I believe if your income is higher, there is a fee to pay for ambulance.

Our health system does not cover glasses, dental or hearing aids. That must be paid out of pocket. As for prescriptions, it is based on income. We pay the cost of the prescription plus a dispensing fee up to a certain annual amount (based on income). After that, we pay about 1/3 of the drug cost to a higher deductible (based on income). After that we pay nothing for the rest of the year for prescriptions.

In BC, medical is paid monthly (based on income). In Ontario, it is paid on your income tax (my Mom pays $300/year). For us, because our income is so low, we don't pay anything per month.

There is definitely a doctor shortage in Canada (especially in rural BC). Many people don't have a family physician because most doctors prefer to work in larger cities. Specialists are a problem here. I have waited THREE YEARS to see a back specialist and just got an appointment (for November). Bob waited 18 months to get an MRI on his knee which needed to be replaced quite a few years ago. Donald Trump was correct when he said some people go to the States for procedures due to a long wait list here in Canada. HOWEVER, when I needed surgery in 2011 I was in within one week. I think it just depends on what your problem is.

What I hear and read about the American system frightens me. I don't know how people can afford to retire given the high medical costs.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 19:30
Reply 


Ohh.. I just read all the preceding posts and realized that I omitted something from my first one.

My GF who did the conversion to Canadian Taxes to compare - is a US Born Citizen, US Educated @ University of Illinois Medical School and is also a Doctor now specialising in Public Health - who now Teaches at her original University where she got her Bachelors, Masters & Phd and at another University. She is in process of working out immigration from the US and god willing this will be SOON ! Three other Doctor's I know (also medical) have just moved up along with two other's who are Psychiatrists that specialize in PTSD who have now become Canadian Citizen's.

Maggie has told me of the Horror Stories and issues with the US Healthcare and the costs + demands for Credit Card or Large Cash deposit to even see a doctor... The crazy Co-Pay structure, the HMO Manipulations... Sure if you have oodles of spare cash no problem but 90% of working folks & retiree's don't have lot's to spare... The Vet's & The VA - Ohh My, won't even go there as that is one extremely sore spot for me, those are the last folks the Goober-Mentals should mess with because THEY put it on the line for everyone else and then to be phookered with....

The French system is unique on it's own with it's own quirks, just like the British NHS which is a massive bureaucratic nightmare (the Brit's refined & Mastered Bureaucracy to a fine edge) with a lot of gotcha's lurking behind every nook.

Just for fun... Take a look at the US National Debt Clock and compare it to the Canadian National Debt Clock.... Look specifically at what the share of debt is per citizen & per Taxpayer...

Just using one (there are a few and all fairly close) http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/

US: Debt per Citizen $61,268 USD
Can: Debt per Citizen C$29,812 ($22,387 USD)

Wendigolake
Member
# Posted: 26 Oct 2016 20:33 - Edited by: Wendigolake
Reply 


When my Dad was diagnosed with prostrate cancer he was given top notch care by doctors and several specialists. We never worried about getting him in for treatment and when he had to be admitted to the hospital on several occasions, we never had to wait for a bed. His drugs for treatment and chemotherapy would have put a severe strain on our family finances but thanks to our medical system we did not have to worry. I have had knee surgery (elective) twice and never had to wait very long to get it done.
Silverwaterlady, I have had a colonoscopy here in Ontario and they put me under for it and I was in and out of the hospital in about an hour and a half. They were doing one every 10 min and there were a lot of people scheduled for it the day I went. My doctor even came out to see me after I woke up and gave me the results.

Ontario lakeside
Member
# Posted: 27 Oct 2016 02:40
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Silverwaterlady.

I can't believe anyone would need to wait more than a couple of hours to have a broken arm set. That never been my experience anymore in Canada. My colonoscopy was in a private room with full anesthetic. What provence are you in?

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 27 Oct 2016 09:45 - Edited by: MtnDon
Reply 


A dozen years ago or so, my mother who lived in Canada, broke her hip. She was operated on the next morning and received a replacement hip joint.

Wilbour
Member
# Posted: 27 Oct 2016 09:54
Reply 


I have to agree with OntarioLakeside. The experiences of waiting two weeks to set an arm or months for a blood test are an exception. In Ontario you go to a private clinic for a blood test the same day. Results can take a week or so to be reviewed by your personal doctor.All covered by insurance.

Setting an arm can be done 24/7 at the emergency room in the local hospital.

There is nothing called free health care. Ours is funded by our taxes so there are inherit problems with that. But no one is left behind. Most societies will except to wait a few months for knee surgery so that the destitute can have a life saving procedure done.

I realize that in the land of the free and home of the brave there maybe those who believe they deserve the best in the least amount of time. We have wealthy people here who choose to pay for services outside Canada.

Trust me my wife is American and there are subtle differences between our families. This is one of them.

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