Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Obama's opponents on Health Care Reform

Patients United Now, an advocacy group opposed to the reforms to healthcare envisioned by Obama, has enlisted the help of a Canadian in one of their ads that greatly distorts the issue.

Shona Holmes, who had an unusual brain tumor, was told that she would have to wait 6 months in the Canadian system before she would see a specialist. She decided instead to go to the US, while mortgaging her house to pay the $100 000 to see the American specialist. Now she is speaking out in a Patients United Now ad claiming that if Healthcare a la Canadian were attempted in the US, "deadly" waiting lists would ensue.

What people like Shona Holmes and the good ol' conservatives at Patients United Now don't seem to want to understand is that it is equally deadly to not have proper healthcare that is available to all, regardless of financial situation. How are people in the lower classes to get access to even simple healthcare, let alone treatment for brain tumors when they cannot pay the prices demanded in the US without seriously compromising their already precarious situations?

This is not to say that there are not problems with the Canadian system, but it is considerably superior to that in the US. In Canada, medical setbacks do not mean that your whole life is setback. In the US, you have to be quite wealthy to escaped unscathed financially.

The problems brought up by these ads, notably the long waiting lists, need to be addressed, and all parties in Canada recognize that (although I doubt the Conservatives track record). Proposals have been put forward for more doctors and nurses to reduce severe shortages in the sector, and thus reduce waiting times.

However, in the grand scheme of things, I would much rather have the Healthcare system we enjoy in Canada than the mess in the United States. Our system benefits more people, harming less than the American one does with its deadly prices to the average citizen.
Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers If you liked this post, please vote for my blog at Canadian Blogosphere Canadian Blogosphere


  1. I live in Canada and I have never had to wait for anything. I don't have any serious diseases though. But comparing the Canadian system to the US is not valid. Canada has a population 1/10th that of the US but has a geographic area larger than US (our largest city has only a few million people). With a population so small you can't expect to have certain specialists in every town, so you have to travel 2000 miles sometimes to see some specialists. And yes you might have to wait because there simply aren't enough doctors around. It's not the system that is at fault, it's the small size of our population and huge geography. So you’re comparing apples to oranges here.

    That Canadian lady who is on TV telling America about Canadian wait times paid $100,000 to have the operation she wanted. Most Canadians don’t have that kind of money lying around, and likely neither do you. So sometimes they have to wait, and sometimes they die. But if a Canadian can afford it, they can travel to the US and pay for whatever they want. And by the way, that lady still might die.

    But here’s the other part of healthcare reform: It is going to cost you big bucks (there is no getting around this). In Canada a gallon of gas is always about $1.50 more than in the US. That is taxes to pay for health care. Our income taxes and sales taxes are higher than the US, primarily to pay for healthcare. The taxes on cigarettes and alcohol make them about twice as expensive as in the US, to pay for healthcare. Our military used to have a big budget before healthcare was introduced in the 1970’s, but our military has been gutted to pay for health care. Over the years, automobile daytime running lights, seatbelts, and helmets for bikers have become mandatory to reduce healthcare costs. And the constant arguing by the politicians over healthcare is endless and tired. So if you get healthcare in the US, expect taxes to go up gradually over the years and military spending to slowly go down. And expect endless, relentless political bickering. But it won’t cost you or your family $100,000 to have an operation (that might not even work).

  2. Rock the Vote is hosting a live online forum on health care tonight with Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote. There are only a few spots left and we don’t want you to miss it. Sign up now: http://awe.sm/2AVP

    Here are the details:

    What: Rock the Vote/ Pass the Ball Interactive Forum: Health Care Reform Uncovered

    When:Tonight, Wednesday, October 21, 2009 @ 7pm EST (4pm PST)

    Where: Online – sign up and you’ll get login information for both the phone and the online portal. Sign up here: http://awe.sm/2AVP

    Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services
    Pete Wentz , Fall Out Boy
    Heather Smith, President, Rock the Vote



Progressive bloggers