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health care



It. Is. Constitutional

Move on.

Or did your Mommas not teach you that flogging a dead horse won’t get you anywhere?



These are hilarious!

Seems that some Americans are so mad about the SC giving the thumbs up to Obama’s health care reforms, that they want to move here!

Question – is there anything we can do to keep these yahoos OUT???


I’m moving to Canada. Obviously the United States doesn’t know what they are doing anymore. This used to be a great country… Pretty sad.


The supreme court upheld Obama Care. That’s it. I’m moving to Canada!


I’m moving to Canada, the United States is entirely too socialist.


#SCOTUS holds up free healthcare for everyone?! Screw this commie country, I’m moving to #Canada #whoswithme


The idea of seriously moving to Canada seems very real to me now thanks to Obamacare.


Hitchin’ the Grit wagon to the right tractor

In today’s G&M, Lawrence Martin is exploring a topic that is along the same lines as one that I discussed in a posting a little while ago. Ignatieff and the Grits have been presented with a perfect opportunity to latch on to an issue that can define them from the ReformCons –  the American portrayal of our health care system.

It would be a natural fit for Iggy to defend Obama’s proposed program and universal health care in general. Both men are liberal,  well-spoken members of the educated class.  One would think that Obama’s team would welcome such an ally.

As Mr. Martin says:

These are rocky times on the bilateral front. Trade volumes are declining, border fences have gone up. Financial tumult has walloped America and its paramountcy is challenged, at least to some degree, by Asia’s rise. This country can’t ride its coattails as it used to.

These are big challenges for big thinkers. We expected Mr. Ignatieff to respond by unhesitatingly seeking a close alliance with a liberal President whose popularity in Canada is enormous. Mr. Obama is a busy man but surely, given his contacts, Mr. Ignatieff could have received entry to the Oval Office by now, as opposition leaders before him have done.

It is not too late to hitch his wagon to this train; but Iggy and the Libs should not wait very long into the fall sitting.


Americans must think we Canadians are pretty stupid.

…if they really think that we allow our health care system to pull the plug on Grandma if her care becomes too expensive.

OK, I’m getting real sick, real fast of all of this crap going down in the U.S. about health care. Henry Champ has penned a good “lay of the land” piece on the website today.  Called “Decorum takes a holiday in the health-care debate”,  Mr. Champ outlines some of the misinterpretations and outright lies being tossed around by the right wing-nut sector in America. Busing in and stacking so-called “Town Hall” meetings, the anti sane-and-equitable-health-care-system dimwits are holding Canada’s system up as something that falls somewhere between socilised death camps and an Orwellian bureaucracy. Which is totally farcical and frankly, an insult to me as a Canuck.

As I have pointed out before, our system is by no means perfect and can stand to be reviewed with a critical eye. Wait times are too long – especially outside the major centres. There are other issues that are broken and need to be fixed. But overall, I have been fairly happy with what we have and I say this having three kids – all of whom have needed medical of one type or another – as well as my own experiences. In fact, I can think of only one instance involving my family where I feel the care was inadequate.

Not a bad average.

So, for my American readers, and I know there are a few, I humbly submit the following list of facts about our health care system.  This is not propaganda. I am not paid by anyone to do this. I simply want to, in my own very minor way,  correct some of the falsehoods that are circulating.

1) Grandma will NOT be unplugged by “the system”. Only the family can do this. And the family will not do this for want of money to pay medical bills. It is utterly ridiculous that this is being bantered about.

2) Medical bills. We don’t get them. Usually. There are some services that one does have to pay for depending on what part of the country you are in and the policies of your own doctor’s practice. Sick notes, for example, as well as some inoculations, cosmetic procedures, etc., are not covered. Here is a link to a medical office here in Ottawa which lists which services are for a fee. All other services are covered by the plan.

3) Access to care. Yes, there is a shortage of family physicians and specialists. No doubt. I know folks who have looked all over for a family doctor who is accepting patients but to no avail. BUT, this does not mean that they do not have access to care. There are many, many walk-in clinics who take anyone with a health card. The waiting room time varies, but if you are going in for a minor ailment, time your visit accordingly and it usually takes very little time to see a physician. And of course there is always Emerg… but don’t go unless neccesary. It is very expensive, can take a while to see someone and really, that ingrown toenail can’t be tended to by your family physician or at a clinic? However, the triage at the ER will NOT turn someone away.

For specialists, the problem is more acute. Though I have had no problem whatsoever in getting access to a specialist for one of my kids who had infected lymph nodes. We saw a pediatric surgeon the day after our family doc referred us. A pediatric ENT specialist and an infectious diseases doctor soon followed – again with a very short wait.  Of course we in Ottawa are very fortunate to have one of the world’s foremost children’s hospitals.

4) There are some patients who are treated in the corridors due to lack of space. Yes, due to a woeful lack of funding in some hospitals, this is sometimes the case. But from my own experiences (a physician would be more qualified to comment on this) this is the exception and not the rule. I have been hospitalised twice in my life, had a few day-surgeries and two my kids have all had stays and never were left in the halls and nor did I see anyone in the corridors.  Four different hospitals in 4 different parts of Ontario. Maybe it is worse on other provinces.

Our system has some warts and flaws. It is expensive but on a per cpaita basis, I believe it is cheaper than Medicare in the U.S. – though I’d have to verify that. Yet at what price care? Isn’t a sign of an advanced society the willingness to look after the health of its citizenry; ALL of them? Does Canada need to reform its system? Of course. We need some ilk of a two-tier system where all of the population is guaranteed basic care – NO ONE should evr be turned away due to ability to pay. But we should consider the options.

Is our medical delivery system completely broken? No way. Just a little rusty. And I hope (naively) that the morons to the south who are buying the script depicting our system as a dreadfully inefficient, anachronistic, unconstitutional waste of dollars would do a little research and learn that it really isn’t that bad.


The American attacks on Canadian health care – what an opportunity for Iggy – but will he run with it?

Canada’s health care system has been under a barrage of attacks both in the blogosphere and in the MSM lately – not to mention the mass idiocy that is taking place at those so-called “Town Hall Meetings”. What a crock. Here’s an excerpt:

In one particularly heated exchange, Craig Anthony Miller, 59, stood inches from Mr Specter’s face screaming at him and waving a copy of the US Constitution.

“You are trampling our Constitution,” Mr Miller yelled while police officers hovered nervously around him. “One day, God is going to stand before you, and He is going to judge you and the rest of your damn cronies [in the Congress], and then you will get your just deserts,” he ranted to loud applause before storming out of the room.

Seriously. How do these morons summon up the brain capacity to breathe and talk at the same time?

These attacks have been well-coordinated and organized by the usual right-wing nut groups whose alleged motivation is the preservation of good health care and free enterprise but whose real impetus is the protection of their own collective ass.

I haven’t said much about this whole health care thing – and I have been saving a sort of “omnibus” entry about our system for a later date. Yet, what I do see at the moment is a perfect chance for Iggy and Grits to define themselves as the defenders of the faith – if you will.

What a great issue to latch on to and gain exposure from!

What a high profile and attack-ad proof way to define the leader’s persona and purpose than to vigorously defend an institution that most Canadians identify as being a hallmark of our society!

Yes, most of us realize that it has its blemishes and warts and I don’t differ from this view. It is indeed a system that is in need of a new focus and new thinking. But that being said, it is a fair and modern system of which we should be conditionally proud. And from coast to coast, I would guess that this would be the consensus opinion.

But will Ignatieff step up to the plate? The Harperites are, of course, silent on this. They know that by defending a system that their core supporters (the religious right and the ultra right wingnuts) view with suspicion, they are opening themselves up to internal dissent. And we all know that the ReformCons go tut-tut at any type of dissent.

How about it Grits? Here is a tailor-made, made-in-Canada, attack-ad-proof issue for you to grab and run with? Are you going to take it?


Health care, and all things in the public good…

I have yet to post anything about the weird health care debate in the States.

But courtesy of and inspired by a wise Canuck blogger at Enormous Thriving Plants, I now must urge you to read the following great post about why we really do need a government and how they can, believe it or not, run a public program well and efficiently.

My health care in my country is just fine, thank-you.

Why does the conventional wisdom rail against all things state-run? It is as dogmatic as religion. Unfounded in fact and rooted in myth and fantasy…

Very entertaining post… thanks.