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just my two cents for my american comrades

After my man Barney Frank had his moment in the limelight regarding the current healthcare debate in the Land of My Birth, I thought that I might make a short statement for my American friends. Though, of course, saying this to my friends list is really preaching to the choir:

I've lived in Canada for almost six years now. I've been sick here several times, I've been to doctors and specialists and hospitals and pharmacies for a variety of reasons. I've always been happy with the level of care I've received, I've never felt overlooked in any way or that I've been kept waiting for longer than was reasonable (certainly no longer than waiting times in the states). My experience here has covered both the smaller town I first moved to when coming to Canada, and of course my current home in the biggest city in the country; it's covered times when I was out of work with no supplementary insurance and times such as now when I have a work-related insurance package to help out with drug costs, dental and so on. I've gone to family doctors and clinics and emergency rooms.

Honestly, the only real difference I've felt hasn't been in comparing the level of care in both countries (though I know people who've been through much worse in the States, I'm only going to speak to my personal experience). It's been in the fact that, when I was sick in the US, I was always afraid of what it was going to cost and how I would pay for it. I wound up in crippling debt several times because of a visit to the emergency room when I had no insurance; I spent years and years without regular physicals; I suffered through illnesses and injuries at home when it might have been better to go to a professional and have it diagnosed / treated -- because I just couldn't afford that.

I'm aware that the discussion doesn't come down solely to a matter of dollars and cents, but I've been poor and sick in both countries and it makes a huge difference as to how you think of your personal health when you know it might break you financially to get treatment. I do feel like this is one of the places where government has a right (if not a responsibility) to intervene. According to the United States Declaration of Independence, every one of us has a right to "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" -- at least two of these, if not all three, are hampered by inequitable access to proper health care, and the inequity in the US almost always comes down to what the patient can afford. That's just not right, whatever country you live in.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 20th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
I couldn't agree with you more. That's why I'm so passionate abut letting my American friends know the truth about health care in Canada. The lies I've heard about the care up here are just ridiculous.

My mom, who's a teacher in central Florida, just found out her health insurance coverage has been dropped to just $500 a year in coverage. That won't even cover the most basic of care for a year, let alone if she gets really sick. Even worse, my stepfather's health is pretty bad, so now the supplementary insurance she used to get through her insurance (at $300 a month!) is pretty much useless.

They're actually considering moving back to Canada because they can't afford to get sick in the country they live in. That's just ridiculous!
Aug. 20th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, if you haven't already, you may want to sign this petition:

Aug. 20th, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
THIS! THIS TIMES ELEVENTYBILLION! Not having to worry about money every time I get sick enough to need to see a doctor is AWESOME.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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