Thursday, March 25, 2010

Health Care

I'm not really into politics all that much. I mean, I do listen in a bit on some of the crucial stuff I guess, but I don't have much to do with it. The government generally does what they want and if it affects me, I just somehow try to work my way around it somehow. But one thing that really gets me wondering is this new "health care thing" going on in the USA. I did'nt really research it or anything, so I don't know exactly what it is all about. Maybe it IS a nightmare, but if it is anything like what we have here in Canada (and I don't even know much about that one), I kinda thought that everyone in the States would be happy about it. I THINK that what we have here in Canada is a good thing anyway. I don't pay anything, but yet, when I need to go to the hospital, it costs me nothing. Well, maybe some medication, or crutches, etc. We used to pay, but as of Dec 31 2008, they no longer wanted our money. Well, I can imagine they are getting it from us somehow though. When I was paying, it costed me $132.00 every 3 months when it all came to an end. I kinda wished they were still charging us, because now that they don't, it makes me wonder if I should be buying some insurance or not, but as far as I know we are still covered.
I can remember when I was 16 or 18 when I recieved my first Alberta Health Care bill in the mail. I can't remember how old I was, but I think 18. It was probably my first bill for anything, as I was still living with the folks at that time. If I remember right, that bill was for $86.00 every 3 months and they gradually went up to $132.00. and now 0. That is about a 27 year span. I have broken my right leg twice (each time was about 5 days in the hospital or more) and have had alot of other minor injuries along the way(rodeo and other foolish things). The physio thereapy the second time I broke my leg(knee) was all paid for(until they kicked me out for missing 2 appointements without notice, dumb kid I was). I also periodically go in for a checkup. It has never costed me anything other than some minor little expenses. MY biggest fear, is if they were to someday come along and take that all away, and put us on the same boat that the Americans just came off of. I am really curious to see how things are going to work out with this thing down there. I can see where American people might get a little excited, because it is a real big change, but from way up here and not being affected by this, it looks to me like your government is really trying to help. But then, like I say, I don't really know much about it (the cost, coverage, details, etc), that's just what it looks like to me at this point. Just thought I would throw in my 2 cents. Healthcare is'nt necessarily a bad thing all the time.
I can remember getting pretty excited about it when I got that first bill in the mail. "Who the hell do they think they are, blah, blah, blah". My dad was on their side as he was trying to explain some sense into me. Up here in Canada, for me it was the cheapest and best insurance I ever bought, even if it was forced upon me, and I hope they start charging us a little bit again, as I do feel it is hard to demand good service if you're not paying something for it. But I'll take the free also. So thats how it is in Alberta as far as I know anyway, not sure about the rest of the country.
Does this sound accurate to the rest of Canada? (like alot of Canadians visit this site). lol. Some do, I know.
I hope it all works out real well for everyone down there, and I THINK it will, but I don't know that for sure. It'll take a bit of getting used to probably, but I'll bet in 5 years from now, alot of you will be thinking alot differently about the whole situation. This is just my opinion. But lets check back here in 5 years, shall we.


  1. First off, I've been enjoying following your adventure in building especially as I am on a similar venture myself.

    I do follow politics, in no small part due to my background in political philosophy. The healthcare efforts here in the States is a mess for several reasons, not the least of which is that everything that the government is doing will increase costs dramatically. A close second is the aspect of this "reform" is that if someone cannot pay, they are fined. (How does that work??) If you cannot afford the fine, you are put into prison for failure to pay (technically the charge would be failure to obey).

    The entire process here is to force more people in the US to pay into approved insurance companies, adding massive bureaucracies (at more cost to the citizens), and denying ever more liberty, all while reducing the quality of healthcare by taking control away from doctors and patients and putting it in the hands of bureaucrats and politicians.

    From a philosophical perspective, we need to remember that every person is morally worthwhile, so no one has the right to take their life, labor, or property against their will. The new laws in the US regarding health care does all of this...

    As to the systems in place in Canada, there are a few. The restrictions vary based upon the province. Some allow for private clinics, others, like Ontario, are opposed to any private health care preferring to force people to leave the country to get the necessary health care. I don't know all of the ins and outs of the various Canadian systems, so all I can really offer is the above: there isn't one single system, but rather a collection of provincial systems.

    To end on a positive note, I am quite impressed with your ability to work in the weather you've been having, doubly so since you've made much more progress than I have been able to make on my own home. I look forward to seeing the finished home!

  2. Morning Mark! Hey, I'm one of your loyal Canadian followers! hehe
    Here in Ontario, we just flash our OHIP card at the front desk then sit and wait for 6 hours for the first available, well-humoured physician to show their face. One of the big problems here is that we can't get a Dr. I was lucky enough to get a fairly new one 10 years ago and she agreed to see any children we might eventually have. When we move next month, 2 1/2 hrs away, I will keep my records with her office just in case. It takes a tremendous amt of time to see a specialist too.

    As for the States, I'm guessing it's a liberty and financial issue with them. They are being told to get insurance or go to jail. I also don't think the country can afford such a huge program right now. Free health care would be great, but that's NOT what they're getting.
    I know, I isn't free, we do pay for it, but you know what I mean!

    Have a great weekend...I'm off to visit my fur babies later, then heading up to see how much snow is at the cabin! Woohoo!

  3. Storm: Thanks for the compliments and the info. I wonder what kind of a cost it will be for the average individual. I don't think anyone knows yet or do they?

  4. I knew you are a Canadaian all along Cath. I can tell by your accent. lol. We have the same problem here Cath. If you go to emergency at the hospital for a minor injury or something, you better bring your pillow at times. I did fluke into getting a doctor a few years back, but I can almost see him thinking about retirement in the near future, so I don't know what will happen then.
    I know, I don't know all the details of what is going on down there, or if it is good or bad or will be good or bad in the future. Time will tell. You guys are counting the days down on the pup situation I guess.

  5. The problem with the new plan as I see it is that nobody knows what is actually in the bill. Most of the details have been intentionally hidden from the public (and half the politicians that either voted for or against it), because the bill was written behind closed doors.

    Those that suggested that politicians should actually read the bill were mocked as being naive and not understanding the political process.

    I'm not so sure that we will even know all the details of the bill in 5 yrs either, because it doesn't go into full effect for 4 yrs, even though we will start to pay immediately.

    I hope it isn't a disaster, but I would have more hope if all the details had been explained and debated before it was forced though.

  6. Rich: You'd think they should be able to give out all the gory details right away Rich. I guess I can kinda see why alot of the people are getting a little on edge, just not knowing anything.

  7. The annual "insurance" bill for individuals will run into the thousands, for families tens of thousands. But that will be the smallest part of the total bill.

    What will it cost us to have the federal government creating a data base of every aspect of our DNA? They have already proved that they WILL use such information. (See the history of the US Census, which was used to round up Japanese during WWII, and others at other times..)

    The debt will increase dramatically, since free health care is a myth. Doctors must be paid, equipment must be purchased, nurses must be paid, janitors must be paid, administration must be paid, buildings must be built* etc.. All of these costs do not disappear. They could be limited, but this is a form of slavery, and has the unintended consequence that Canada has seen from their limiting of pay for doctors: the best leave the country.

    *One of the health care reforms tried by the government in the past, which is still in force, was to prevent facilities from being built! So just as with Canada preventing doctors from serving communities where the doctors perceive a need, so too here in the states, a hospital cannot build even a clinic where it perceives a need..

    On top of all of the other costs, the 16,000 additional tax men to be hired under this legislation will increase the costs, as well the enforcement agents and collection agents for the fines levied against the poorest amongst us who cannot afford (and do not want to afford) this subsidy to government and massive privileged insurance corporations.

    Ultimately the total costs will be unknown, but two things are certain: there will a cost in liberty of enormous proportions, and the direct monetary costs will be well into the tens of trillions of dollars at the very least.