July 16, 2009

We Learned To Love It

You will too.

It didn't take long to run into an "uh-oh" moment when reading the House's "health care for all Americans" bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.

And after that, they'll make private billing from your doctor illegal, and private "for profit" diagnostics illegal, and well, there's not a lot they won't make illegal to ensure that you, your doctor, your technicians, and your nurses don't desert the system for greener pastures.

And while you may not learn to love things like "doctor shortages", "temporary acute care bed closures", and "dying on waiting lists" right away, your children and grandchildren will, because politicians and union leaders and grade school educators - really, all the leading intellectual lights of your nation - will be hard at work from this day forward, instilling in them the conviction that the health care services they are prohibited from receiving are a cornerstone of your national identity.

So enough with the dissent.

As Canadians can tell you, it's unpatriotic.

Posted by Kate at July 16, 2009 10:03 AM

So far it seems that most of the MSM "journalists" have read as much of this bill as congress has. I guess it was too long to twitter.

Posted by: Texas Canuck at July 16, 2009 10:16 AM

The Media have read and analyzed the bill as much as they did the "porkulus" in not at all....they jump on the journolist talking points and off they go.

Is there a burning health care crisis in the US, as in one that hasnt been there for years and that coldnt be lived with for some more time while things were analyzed.

Let me answer my own question, yes there isa crisis, and its called the 2010 elections.

Undoing these things will be difficult and Rahm and Obama know it.

The US overpays on health care, as a percentage of the economy, they also have advanced care that leads the world. Nobody asks what the tradeoffs on any of this is. Maybe the nasty question should be asked, what care would Ted Kennedy have received under government health care and would he have survived?

Posted by: Stephen at July 16, 2009 10:23 AM

Putting in rules making private insurance illegal will not stop professionals from opting out. They could leave the US to practice in other countries, or just stop practicing.

Posted by: MaryT at July 16, 2009 10:35 AM

When Canadians access US health care they are offended that even an individual asperin is billed....but take the no wait excellant care for granted.....
Like a fellow yesterday complaining about how the cold wet weather affected his crops and then declared absolute faith in Gorical "scientific CO2 AGW......but then he definitively declared that there was nothing at the South Pole---no weather station....nothing....

Posted by: sasquatch at July 16, 2009 10:38 AM

If commentators were honest they would present the facts that for most cancers, for strokes, and until recently for heart attacks, US outcomes are better than Canadian outcomes. There is a reason for that.

As a physician when the majority of our treatment guidelines come from the US (blatantly copied by our own organizations here) I think there is a reason for that as well.

Well known among my colleagues is the fact that US general practitioners get paid less than Canadian ones. This is why I specialized.

At the end of the day when the US system becomes fully public, it will no be cheaper. There will be a multitude of organizations, including US general practitioners who will be ready to lobby the government for more money. Moreover all those folks who had private insurance are going to want the same treatment times, the same number of infinite tests, the same amount of heavy law suits... it won't be any cheaper. Moreover doctors like me will have no incentive to not order a load of useless tests to avoid law suits.

I did a quick look at the public and private systems already in place in the US and the cost per user of each. The public system is massively more expensive, partly because it is "free" and partly because it contains both the elderly and the disenfrachised. Click Here.

But never underestimate the power of the illusion of something being "free" to increase the overall costs of said free thing.

Posted by: langmann at July 16, 2009 10:44 AM

Americans, the AMA and US health insurance industry won't stand for this. They may allow the feds to run an alternative generic system but they won't allow nationalization of the upper tier health care system with its specialty medicine and clinics.

Obama's gone one bridge too far.

The Dems will face a virtual wipe out in the mid terms. This time the media which pimped the whole coup will suffer credibility loss.

Posted by: Buffalo Irving at July 16, 2009 10:49 AM

A very timely piece, Kate, as a good friend of mine has just been informed that he will no longer be employed by the hospital he works for. The reason? The extra costs associated with running he operating room for the specialized surgeries he performs are too high for them. So a top notch surgeon is now unemployed, and his only job options appear to be across the border in the US.

Posted by: pete at July 16, 2009 10:58 AM

"Americans, the AMA and US health insurance industry won't stand for this"

I am curious how you think they are going to stop it?

"The Dems will face a virtual wipe out in the mid terms."

Maybe, I am not sure they care. I think they are the scariest kind of Talibanesque true believers. You should have heard my congressman, Peter Welch on the radio this morning not answering questions. At the end the liberal hosts said "He seemed like he was against taxing health benefits", the other said, "that was my impression", but I listened to the whole interview, and he never said he would vote against it, which tells me, in his mind, he will vote for it.

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 16, 2009 10:58 AM

The BC Government has cut funding of medical care by about $350 million this year with the result that one hospital region has capped it's MRI usage at 15,000 this year. Think about that. The MRI can only be used 15,000 times. They already know how much it will be used, so if you happen to be in an emergency situation and number 15,001 comes up, well tough luck. The decisions are not being made based on medical necessity but on financial considerations, and no you can't pay yourself as that would be unfair to the other guy.

Just wait until an American is told he can't get his surgery because a needed diagnostic test is being rationed like BC rations. Texans aren't nearly as laid back as the weed-addled BCers.

Posted by: the rat at July 16, 2009 10:59 AM

Those columns from the 2006 election were the subject of one of my few positive communications with the CBC. Have they called back recently?

Posted by: Roseberry at July 16, 2009 10:59 AM

I think the only chance we have is to point out to the elderly that Obama's plan is a "Logan's Run" approach. If you are over a certain age, your life is forfiet if it gets too expensive to care for you.

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 16, 2009 11:01 AM

"Maybe the nasty question should be asked, what care would Ted Kennedy have received under government health care and would he have survived?

Posted by: Stephen at July 16, 2009 10:23 AM "

Ummmmmm....been in Canada long,Stephen? We all know,as a politico,Kennedy,and every other one of his gubermint buddies,would be at the head of the line,receiving the best of all care,even if it meant bumping some other ordinary plebes.Must keep our ruling elites and better healthy,eh?
The ordinary Joe/Jane American will NOT stand for this,neither will the union employees. This may be the Zero's biggest accomplishment,decimating the commie,socialist DemocRats!

Posted by: Justthinkin at July 16, 2009 11:01 AM

Plus....I wonder how the Obamamots will like it when they are dying waiting on a list for surgery/diagnostic testing? Or will the Zero also make it so that he can haul out voter lists,and only service his fellow commies?

Posted by: Justthinkin at July 16, 2009 11:06 AM

New bumper sticker "Logan's Run, it's not just a movie any more..."

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 16, 2009 11:07 AM

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 16, 2009 11:07 AM

Sorry tim in vermont. At best, you folks down south are just the latest in a long line of sequels (i.e. Britain, Canada, etc.). ;)

A real shame you yanks didn't learn from Canada's experience with Trudeau back in the 60's & 70s, a mess out of which we're still climbing.

Posted by: Colin from Mission B.C. at July 16, 2009 11:45 AM

I am part-owner of a small Daycare in Ruston, Louisiana. Health Insurance for me, the wife and kid runs about $350 a month. (does not include dental) The Daycare employs about 15 People. So, let's see what Obama's Plan will do to us financially. If we have to pay 72% of $350 that's $252, $252 * 15 employees is $3,780 per month and $45,360 per year. After we pay payroll, elec bill, water bill, gas bill, toy bill, insurance for the property, insurance for the kids, insurance for the Daycare Van to haul the kids around(and don't forget it takes Exxon/Mobil/Texaco to get the Vans around), property taxes, state taxes, federal taxes, un-employment taxes, medicare, workmans comp, disability, pay for the La State Trooper Investigations for each employee, we pay for Life Saving Classes, Workshops, we also serve Breakfast, Lunch and a Snack in the afternoon. Along with Swimming on Mon, Tues and Fridays with Skating on Thur. Not to mention; the State mandates we maintain 4 inches of sand under all outdoor play equipment, along with a 6 foot chainlink fence around the whole property. We also have to maintian liability insurance, incase someone decides to sue the hades out of us.
We might clear $80,000 at the end of the year, split 3 ways. That $45,000 penality Obama is gona cost us pretty much kills our profit margin, and the desire to run a business for peanuts. I voted lastnite to shut the Daycare down if this Bill passes the Senate. Which means we will put 15 people on the un-employment line, which I may add is gona cost the State more than the $45,000 penalty they are trying to levy on the Daycare thru this Healthcare Ponzi Scheme by Obama and Company.

Obama said there ain't no Free Lunch, but what happens when there ain't no Lunch.

Posted by: Ratt at July 16, 2009 11:45 AM

The upside for Canada is we'll get a lot of our doctors back.

The downsides are many. Not limited to having further for cdns to go to get real healthcare, a halt in health innovation and the complete shutdown of drug and equipment research...

Note to the land of the free, home of the brave:

The former depends on the latter. You live in a land with more guns than people. Do what you gotta do.

But it was Bush who was the extremist...

Posted by: Jason at July 16, 2009 11:54 AM

Oh, I guess this is one of the reasons they want that latin commie Che-in-a-skirt wanker on the supreme court.

You already know the law won't matter when she rules in favour of Obama and the communist hordes.

Posted by: Jason at July 16, 2009 12:02 PM

'That $45,000 penality Obama is gona cost us"

Could Ratt or somebody else explain that bit please?

Posted by: Edward Teach at July 16, 2009 12:13 PM

All insurance is a Ponzi scheme taking from new investors to pay off the old. Only difference with the gov't model is the forced participation. All health care insurances meddle in the actual business of health care whether through political meddling in the gov't model or changing the modes of delivery and fees in the "private" model. Insurance is parasitical in nature, your investment doesn't actually exist unless there are new"investors" to pay the old.

Posted by: ol hoss at July 16, 2009 12:20 PM

Be fair. I'm sure private, for-profit abortion clinics will still be allowed. And they'll probably even be permitted to extra bill over the state's base abortion fee.

Posted by: andycanuck at July 16, 2009 12:26 PM

Tim; I am curious how you think they are going to stop it?

Fire every rep who voted for it. The AMA and insurance industry have some juice they will put in the GOP camp and media counter spin to undo this mess in the next congress.

Also I'm not clear where the constitution allows the feds to nationalize any industry or run a public health system? The states could use a 10th amendment opt out.

Posted by: Buffalo Irving at July 16, 2009 12:29 PM


Obama is taking care of that pesky constitution thing right now.

He'll appoint another few commies to the bench when given the chance.

Posted by: Jason at July 16, 2009 12:35 PM

Um, yeah.

Last fall I had one lead on my pacemaker completely fail and the function of another degraded severely. I was pasty white and couldn't walk more than a block because of the lack of circulation. The doctor ordered me to stay home in bed, which I had to ignore because the Chamber of Commerce insurance plan told me to @#$% off when I applied for their benefits package.

My "emergency" surgery took over a month and got bumped once because the Royal Alex in Edmonton considers pacemaker surgeries "elective". Silly me, all these years I didn't realize that my body's aerobic processes were a lifestyle choice.

So... Socialized medicine definitely sucks ass and gets things wrong. On the flip side, private insurance can suck ass too if you're one of those unfortunate enough to have pre-existing health conditions that look bad on the actuarial tables. Never mind the fact that I've beaten the odds with all of my health problems and have been self-supporting for a long time - I'm a bad insurance risk and can't get coverage.

Neither public health insurance nor private insurance coverage are perfect.

Posted by: Sean at July 16, 2009 12:44 PM

Just for comparison, I have a pacemaker that could probably be considered far more elective than yours, since I could live without it except that I might lose conciousness while driving a car. I haven't lost conciousness since I got it 13 yrs ago. Anyway. I had the implant within a week of the diagnosis. Got the battery replaced within a week of them getting a low reading. You get the idea.

My daughter had a fetal ultrasound which showed a congenital heart defect. She had fetal cardiac ultrasounds every week or two until she was born reviewed by a pediatric cardiologist. At birth, after we held her for one minute, she was transported to a children's hospital where she recieved cutting edge surgury within a day, performed by a Canadian refugee surgeon and recovered in the hospital for four months.

I am sure an abortion of my wonderful daughter would have been considered far more cost effective by a governmnet plan.

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 16, 2009 1:12 PM

I wonder where all of those blue babies that I saw that were flown in from Europe and South America will go when hospitals like that get shut down?

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 16, 2009 1:14 PM

not to is how it will work.

Americans will lose there health system and gain the Canadian system. The extra health care professionals created by the rationing will go into a for profit health business catering to foreign nationals (ie Canadians). Americans will naturally not have access to this evil for profit business.

As a new business oppurtunity, Canadian health care professionals will set up more for profit health care business to cater to the displaced Americans. Naturally, Canadians will not have access to this evil for profit business.

Therefore, rich (defined as anybody who works for more than minimum wage) Americans will come to Canada to use the Canadian for profit health care business, and rich (defined as anybody who works for more than minimum wage) Canadians will go to America to use the American for profit health care business.

I have had my run ins with our wonderful "health" care system, and have found it lacking and not because of the healt care providers trapped by the bureaucrats.

Posted by: dkjones at July 16, 2009 1:28 PM

I could see Mexico, the Caribbean and Costa Rica cleaning up on establishing quick-service clinics right now. Medical tourism is gonna be big business indeed. And how about those hospital cruise ships, eh?

Posted by: Monique at July 16, 2009 1:32 PM

Congratulations Kate, you have taken my deep concern and actually turned it into fear.

Posted by: Michael C Keehn at July 16, 2009 1:47 PM

Well, now Americans can catch deadly infections in hospitals that they didn't have going in.

Just like in Canada!

If you want to control US health care costs kill all the f'ing ambulance chasing lawyers.

Posted by: Jason at July 16, 2009 1:49 PM

Please dont forget that the federal, state and local union and civil servant employees will not have to be under the obama care plan. Ditto the private sector unions.

Posted by: wildman at July 16, 2009 3:14 PM


Please provide more info re your troubles with the C of c plan. I am an agent for them perhaps i can help/explain.

Posted by: Gord Tulk at July 16, 2009 3:24 PM

You all are failing the Root Cause Analysis of the situation.

Let a flipping idiot explain: lack of cash in the West is caused by outsourcing of manufacturing sector to China and India.

If those two countries were returning 100% of money made by them in the form of investments, there would be no issue. But they don't! They spend 10% investing in the US economy etc, 20% pocketed by their corrupt politicians, 30% is spent building up their military and the rest is pissed away such and such. Cash is flowing away from the West to never return. The only way to replenish cash flow is to print money, otherwise there will be mutiny.

If you could only understand the next two verses!!!

А шо ты, поц, сидишь на плинтуаре тёмной ночкой,
Сидишь, глядишь, а бабки уплывают, боже ж мой!
И бабки ой-ой-ой,
И шкары, боже ж мой,
И бабки, ой-ой-ой, прощаются с тобой!
И бабки ой-ой-ой,
И шкары, боже ж мой,
И бабки, ой-ой-ой, прощаются с тобой!

Так не сиди ж ты, поц, на плинтуаре тёмной ночкой,
Не надо ждать, шоб воры проканали чинно в ряд.
Ты будешь весь пустой,
С надеждой и тоской,
А может, даже ты простишься с головой.
Ты будешь весь пустой,
С надеждой и тоской,
А может, даже ты простишься с головой.

Posted by: Aaron at July 16, 2009 3:29 PM

Don't stereotype grade-school teachers. I'm a veteran and a conservative. I do NOT line up obediently. I would be a Republican except that the Republican Party has ceased to have any you-know-whats.

Posted by: Mack Hall at July 16, 2009 3:32 PM

Don't stereotype grade-school teachers. I'm a veteran, a conservative, and a teacher. As an American I do NOT line up obediently for the Chicago thugs or anyone else. I would be a Republican except that the Republican Party has ceased to have any you-know-whats.

Posted by: Mack Hall at July 16, 2009 3:34 PM

I think its great the Yankees are bringing in public universal health care. This means are doctors and nurses may elect to stay in Canada.
In my town another Doctor has left for greener pastures. We are now seven (7) doctors short and this leaves approx. 5000 citizens without a GP. These citizens are listed as "Orphans" when admitted to hospital.Orphans meaning patient has no GP.

Posted by: delshilo at July 16, 2009 3:53 PM

If the US medical imbecility goes through we might get private health care in Canada. I've known lots of patients who have gone to the US for medical care. What the US has now that we don't is an expensive system that makes patients feel like they're being treated well. In every case that a patient of mine has gone to the Mayo clinic they've come back with the same diagnosis that I came up with but they were a lot happier with the process there because "they checked out everything doc" and thought the $20K they spent was worth it.

US doctors tend to over-order tests but at least they can get them done the next day. Right now where I work the waiting time for pulmonary function tests is 6-9 months, exercise stress tests have a 1 year wait, and for MRI's most patients opt for a private MRI rather than waiting forever on the public list.

If the US private system is closed then either some other country will provide the medical care or there will be way more pressure on the Canadian government to ditch the totalitarian medicare system.

Posted by: loki at July 16, 2009 4:08 PM

Gord, can we connect by e-mail? I'd rather not put too much info out publicly.

neutralhills [at] gmail [dot] com

Posted by: Sean at July 16, 2009 4:12 PM

mack hall. at some point we are going to have to fight our own. those who lack to courage to do so will follow the herd. today the courage that was evident during the second world war is almost gone. those who have it are so few in number they are helpless. the socialists are running over those who think that we should work and produce our wealth. we are losing.

Posted by: old white guy at July 16, 2009 4:16 PM

I observed Canadian medical staff working, and no wonder it takes forever to do the tests. They take the time... and take time again.

Taking time is popular among those, who bill the government. They told my wife to show up for a test 15 minutes earlier with full bladder and managed to keep her waiting for 10 minutes after her appointment time passed. I don't know how they avoided office massacre at my hands - she was in pain all that time and when she is in pain for no good reason, I become easily irritable. You should have seen the expression on their faces when they tried to explain that 'the appointment time is approximate'.

It must be echoing approximate math that they learned while at school: 21 + 34 is approximately 50.

Posted by: Aaron at July 16, 2009 4:35 PM

For those thinking that government centrally planned care in the US will result in Canadian ex-pat doctors returning to Canada, think again. Many left Canada not because they had a worse deal, but because in Canada they had no deal i.e. they could not get staff positions in hospitals if they were specialists, or because they could not make ends meet financially if they were GPs. I know two former colleagues who simply left medicine entirely, one to go into retail and another to become a fireman.

In the centrally planned system, more doctors and nurses simply mean more paycheques to be doled out. Service to the consumer is meaningless because an increase in service brings no increase in revenue, in fact the opposite, an increase in expenses. So there is no incentive other than the good will of the health care providers to improve service. And since there is no competition and no revenue generated by the users, there is no reward and therefore no additional revenue and resources for improving service or meeting surplus demand.

Where on earth we'll send our overflow neonates or obtain our extra diagnostic radiology exams once the US system is collectivized is beyond me. Medical tourism in the carribean anyone?

Posted by: DrD at July 16, 2009 4:50 PM

Dr.D, I was just thinking about the medical tourism thing. I think this whole US socialized medicine thing could become a Great Thing for Canada.

Two things will happen immediately. First, all the overflow patients from Canada will have -nowhere- to go, and this will lead inevitably to a new private system. Two-tier [boo, hiss!!!] medicine will become the in demand model, because the alternative will be to let Grandma die.

People ain't going to let Grandma die.

The second thing that will happen is Americans seeking relief from their newly f-ed medical system will come HERE instead. They will go to purpose-built private facilities that will spring up to service the demand.

Most likely all the operators in Buffalo, Vermont, New Hampshire etc. will nip smartly across the border and set up here in Canuckistan.

I fearlessly predict a brand new industry for the Indian reservations, which will let them diversify out of gambling and cigarette smuggling. Casinorama and Healthcare-o-rama coming soon to a rez near you.

Thar's GOLD in them thar hills!

Posted by: The Phantom at July 16, 2009 5:34 PM

The House bill does not make private health insurance illegal.

The bill does add various legal requirements for health insurance, for example, that they not withhold coverage from individuals with pre-existing conditions. Instead of simply immediately requiring that all insurers change their structures and conditions, the bill allows existing coverage schemes to be grandfathered in.

Thus, if you already have an individual plan that excludes people with pre-existing conditions, you can keep that plan. But new enrollees cannot choose that plan. New enrollees can enroll in individual plans, but they will have to meet the new requirements.

In short, the editorial is, at best, extremely misleading.

Whatever you do, don't bother to let the facts get in the way of a good fear-mongering rumor!

Posted by: Pither at July 16, 2009 5:41 PM

> People ain't going to let Grandma die.

Grandma, no, but there are a few in-laws that might prompt me to forget how to dial 911.


Posted by: Sean at July 16, 2009 6:00 PM

'That $45,000 penality Obama is gona cost us"

Could Ratt or somebody else explain that bit please?

Posted by: Edward Teach at July 16, 2009 12:13 PM

Edward, please, go read the whole post @11:45 and then post again.

Posted by: Ratt at July 16, 2009 6:05 PM

I've told this story here before, but it bears repeating. I was in a car accident in California in 2000. My injuries were a broken foot and a lacerated tongue (from the airbag). I was transported to the medical centre in Irvine, where all my vital signs - blood pressure, pulse, respiration, temperature - were normal. After setting my foot (which my Toronto orthopedist said was the worst job he'd ever seen), they proceeded to give me a CAT scan, an MRI, and another MRI with a nuclear contrast. Total bill for less than 24 hours was over $30,000 US (nearly $50,000 Cdn at the time). I was facing bankruptcy until I finally got my car insurance company to pay the bill.

All of those unnecessary tests were given to me so that I wouldn't sue the doctors for malpractice. If the US would simply get some tort reform to prevent frivolous cases, the 16% of GDP they spend on medicine would drop dramatically. We moan about a lack of doctors in Canada, but there are places in the US where there are no OB-GYN's because the malpractice premiums are so high, it's uneconomic to conduct a practice. And that's straight from GWB's mouth - he complained about it when campaigning for the 2000 election.

And when I worked in Detroit, the Americans I worked with put up with incredible BS from their boss (for example, even though a 20 year employee was entitled to 4 weeks vacation a year, because Sylvia didn't take more than two weeks, she wouldn't authorize more than that for her workers). And why did they put up with it? Because they were deathly afraid of losing their jobs and, more important, their health care. As one woman, a single mom with three kids, told me if she got a new job, she'd probably have to go into an HMO which wouldn't have provided near the coverage she got at Blue Cross.

I thought Jon Stewart made a good point last night - if you're rich in the US, you can get the best care money can buy. If you're poor, you can get treated for free. It's the middle class who get screwed - not rich enough to pay for it, and not poor enough to qualify for free care. Until recently, medical bills were the number one reason for personal bankruptcy in the US. I may have to wait a bit for a knee replacement in a few years, but I'm not worried that it will cost me (you should forgive the expression) an arm and a leg.

Posted by: KevinB at July 16, 2009 6:55 PM

The Phantom, that's an interesting observation. Private hospitals to serve non-Canadians, mostly Americans. Our elites wouldn't have a problem with this because of course Canadians would still be treated equally miserably. I mean Cuba provides excellent health care for -- non Cubans.

loki: Thanks for your continuing input. When you say US doctors over-order tests, I'm guessing this is for two reasons: 1) over cautiousness due to the insane level of medical litigation and 2) that someone else is paying -- not the consumer, i.e., company health care plans.

Whether the 3rd party payor is government or a company health plan, the economic problem is the same. The moral hazard of over-use.

Posted by: Me No Dhimmi at July 16, 2009 7:06 PM

Nicely put Kate. You summed it up pretty good.
The only thing I would add is this will explode with unintended consequence4s. As health care with Professional Dr's & nurses, gets inevitably worse.
One will be quack Dr's passing as legitimate or just a person who has some medical knowledge. Medicine will go underground. More Chinese medicine will be tried as well as herb & others types of therapy.
A lot of people I know don't even go to a Dr anymore. Especially after the census we in Alberta who had family Drs. had to take. Asking personnel questions for a government site.
You get the care that a slave would as long as you produce or an identifiable protected group.
If nothing else Government only care has shown what a failure it is than last 40 years as it topples.
Free Dress make better physicians than government workers, who view us as meat.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at July 16, 2009 7:35 PM

Revolting against MSG and fluoride would cut health care demand in half.

Now waiting for another batch of insults. 3... 2... 1...

Posted by: Aaron at July 16, 2009 8:22 PM

"Whatever you do, don't bother to let the facts get in the way of a good fear-mongering rumor!"...
Posted by: Pither at July 16, 2009 5:41 PM

OK hot shot .. provide a link to the location of the documents that support your assertion.

If you cannot then we can safely assume that you are offering nothing but opinion and baseless at that.

Posted by: OMMAG at July 16, 2009 8:41 PM

"After setting my foot (which my Toronto orthopedist said was the worst job he'd ever seen), they proceeded to give me a CAT scan, an MRI, and another MRI with a nuclear contrast. Total bill for less than 24 hours was over $30,000 US (nearly $50,000 Cdn at the time). I was facing bankruptcy until I finally got my car insurance company to pay the bill."

Yeah, that is a pretty good summary of American health system. All of us hobble around with f*kd up bone sets, we spend all of our time submitting to unnecessary medical tests, and then, to top it off, we burn a $100 bill as an offering to the medical gods before we walk in the door of a hospital.

Also, your injuries are always covered by your auto insurance. There is nothing even slightly unusual about that. If you felt like you were "facing bankruptcy", if was because of your ignorance.

Who was that actress, Natasha something, who bumped her head near Montreal, seemed normal, walked away and died? I guess it is fine with you if you slam your head with and air bag while riding a couple tons of metal into something that the dr just takes your pulse and lets you go, but sorry, I don't see the point in taking those kind of risks.

What is the death rate from colon cancer in Canada? How easy is it to get a colonoscopy there? Just curious. Oh, that's right, a colonoscopy is just another uneeded test.

KevinB, you just don't know what you are talking about.

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 16, 2009 8:42 PM

"Edward, please, go read the whole post @11:45 and then post again."

Sorry, I read it too quickly the first time.
I understand your intention to close down your business, but hypothetically speaking, could you raise your rates to deal with the increased cost if this comes to pass or are they fixed by some other socialist bureaucracy?

Posted by: Edward Teach at July 16, 2009 8:43 PM

BTW - Waas it not the DEMs that blocked GWB's efforts to get reform on tort law in the US? Thus protecting the litigation industry!

Why yes it was ... 2006 just three short years ago.

Might have been inconvenient to take the COST factor out of the socialized medicine sales pitch.

Posted by: OMMAG at July 16, 2009 8:52 PM

In an interview by PJTV the Gov. of Texas stated they had limited awards in lawsuits. Does anyone know if that includes medical issues? I know Texas recruited medical personnel in Canada and quite a few medical students went there for electives to pay their tuition. Is it better in Texas? The other place a lot of electives were served was in Akron Oh. of all places because you could get 300 bucks a patient to wander to the ER and take histories. All housing food and even a car were gratis.

Posted by: speedy at July 16, 2009 9:01 PM

Reply to Edward; It's already $100 per week for infants under 6 months, $80 bucks ' week for all other ages, exactly who would I pass this extra cost too ?

And, that's what I am trying to say. How much of the Gov't take can we stand before it's not viable to run the business. After the present Small Business Tax Plan there ain't much left.

Plus, Lord knows what will happen if gas hits $4.25 a gallon again.

Posted by: Ratt at July 16, 2009 9:26 PM

Hospital ships, cruising up and down the coasts, just over the line in International Waters. You'll be able to pay someone to sail grandma out there in the dead of night.

Or even better, tort reform.

Posted by: Black Mamba at July 16, 2009 10:03 PM

Ratt, gas is 90 cents a quart here. (That's what a liter is, an American quart near enough.) This is considered -cheap-. It was a buck twenty five a quart not too long ago.

We've already been where you are about to go, for like 20 years. It sucks, but you'll manage. Try jacking your weekly rate to $200, I'm sure the government will respond to the mother's raging demands with more moolah for child care.

That's what they do here in Soviet Kanuckistan, man. What do you think we've all been screaming and biting the furniture about all these years?

Posted by: The Phantom at July 16, 2009 10:09 PM

The same way we'll learn to love their logic:

I'm heading right out to spend my way out of bankruptcy!!

Posted by: Rick at July 16, 2009 11:11 PM

In Canada, folks who can afford to pay for their own healthcare are not allowed to pay for their own healthcare. They gotta stand in line like everybody else. How stupid is that? Ahhh, but you say then they'll want to opt out of paying healthcare insurance. Not true. People without kids still pay school taxes. I truly believe that those who can afford to pay should have that option. Let someone less fortunate have their spot in the lineup.

Posted by: kelly at July 17, 2009 1:20 AM

by: Ratt at July 16, 2009 11:45 AM

Ratt, that was an outstanding post; I am cc'ing it to certain o-bots I know who think everything he's doing is A-1. I'm sorry for your situation, friend; you need to let more folks know how this socialist regime is threatening real jobs. I assume you have or will relate the same to your staff.

Posted by: Aaron at July 16, 2009 3:29 PM

You forgot your /sarc tag in that post. Unless, of course, you think printing money will benefit the economy; in that case I suggest you google I-N-F-L-A-T-I-O-N for more reading. You might also wish to do a bit of studying of subsidies, which is what happens by propping up inefficient local industries when other less costly and more efficient alternatives are available.

mhb23re at gmail d0t calm

Posted by: mhb at July 17, 2009 1:51 AM

Tim in Vermont:

Because I was driving a rental car, my car insurance company turned down my claim three times before I finally got it approved by their ombudsman. It took almost three months of phone calls and letters to get the matter resolved. So it was hardly automatic.

I'm diabetic. They gave me ONE shot of insulin. That would cost about $1 at any Canadian drug store. They charged me $100 for it. Maybe that's not exactly burning $100 bills when you go in, but it comes pretty close in my book.

And two separate studies in the US, one from Harvard and one from the American Bankruptcy Institute show that nearly half of all personal bankruptcies are triggered by medical events - even among people who are insured. There are so many co-pays, deductibles, and uncovered expenses (such as prescriptions and physiotherapy) that even people who are insured go broke from medical expenses.

Now, Tim, on what basis do you believe I don't know what I'm talking about?

Posted by: KevinB at July 17, 2009 8:29 AM


You are correct in your assertion of the [democratic] lawyers wrecking the healthcare system in the US. The specific case of OB-GYN's leaving was due to the frivolous lawsuits of none other than lawyer and democratic contender John Edwards himself.

So, aside from lawyer driven costs, have you thought that the reason they bilked you was that you were a foreigner and they saw the opportunity to bad their under-funded budget (assuming you were taken to a public hospital.)

In the US, you have the choice between losing your money or losing your life. Oh, the humanity. Except that here, you have no choice and if the government wants to save money by denying you care you are just expected to lose your life. Who's the moral one?

The US system puts people over money. A public hospital can't legally deny care to anyone. They can bill you later but they must provide care. Would you rather die with lots of money or live with none? The choice is yours in the US but that choice is denied here.

The Canadian system demands we lower our standards to the lowest common denominator so that we all die equally. The Canadian system is a US HMO with a monopoly and without accountability.

Posted by: Jason at July 17, 2009 9:35 AM

This is 'one helluv' a post.'Kate'. Thanks.

Posted by: Merle Underwood at July 17, 2009 9:35 AM

Visit for Live Streaming Commentary of all Votes and Hearings on Capitol Hill as Well as the Day’s Conservative News. WWW.CONSERVATIVE.ORG

Posted by: Greg at July 17, 2009 9:54 AM

We've already been where you are about to go, for like 20 years.

That's what they do here in Soviet Kanuckistan, man. What do you think we've all been screaming and biting the furniture about all these years?

Posted by: The Phantom at July 16, 2009 10:09 PM

Obama has already caused me to double my BP meds. I don't scream or bite too much these days I am too busy saving money, stocking up the pantry and keeping my powder dry.

You know I always knew Democrats were Liberal and they wanted money for their pet-projects, like saving a lizard, or a tweetie bird, or the homeless, or some wetlands, or a desert, or some african kids, but here lately the Democrats lead by Obama want to destroy Capitalism the very structure America was built on that provided them the funds to carry out their carzy liberal projects.

It boogles the mind at which Democrats attack anything Conservative Christian Republican and Lord help you if you turn a profit.

Posted by: Ratt at July 17, 2009 10:46 AM

There may be a silver lining here. Once the USA has nationalised health care, we have to get rid of our system, otherwise we'll be like them!!

Posted by: AlinOttawa at July 17, 2009 12:43 PM

Under ObamaCare, euthanasia will be a covered

I find it terrifying that the Democrats want
to hurry a health care bill through as fast as
they can. A bill which no one in Congress will
read but vote for...and as in the Cap & Tax bill,
add 300 pages of pork amendments.

Oh, wait, now I get it...(smacking forehead)
Congress won't have to participate in what they lay on us peons. Full speed ahead!

Posted by: zopilote at July 17, 2009 1:12 PM

"Because I was driving a rental car, my car insurance company turned down my claim three times before I finally got it approved by their ombudsman"

Then they were screwing with you.

Was your leg set in LA by an orthopedic specialist, or the ER Dr? I am just curios, because, in the US, the ER doctor usually gives you something for the pain, sets your leg temporarily, if it needs to be done for you to move, gives you some kind of a splint, then sends you to an orthopedic specialist, who sees you next day, or the day after in exceptional circumstances, to properly set your leg, put it in a cast, inserts pins, or whatever is required. Is that the procedure you followed?

I am not going to spend time finding which shell the bean is under in your bankruptcy studies, so, for the sake of argument, lets say that they are true.

Do you think that, in order to save the credit rating of people who choose to be uninsured, we should embark on a program that cuts care to the elderly, based on "cost effectiveness"

Remember a couple things, you can't really lose your home in a bankruptcy unless you can no longer make the payments after having the remainder of your debts discharged. In fact, you can even keep your cars, if you can still make the payments. So, assuming that the reason you declared was due to medical expenses, once they are discharged by the judge, you are sitting there with your house and car and a three year ding on your credit.

To avoid the above consequence to individuals who won't pay for health insurance for whatever reason (remember, the poor have Medicaid), do you think it is right to restrict the health care available to everyone by law?

If you say, what about the near poor, I say, drive a crappier car or live in a more modest home, and spend the money on health insurance, where you should have spent it in the first place, but you *gambled* in order to drive a nicer car and have a nicer home, then lost.

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 17, 2009 1:24 PM

Also, it sounds like you were making a claim on your insurance for driving a rental car in a foreign country.

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 17, 2009 1:26 PM

My wife just left to fly back to Malaysia to get treated, yesterday she was told that she would not see an neurologist till Oct and then get an MRI sometime after that. This is for a syndrome that attacks the nerves and can do significant damage if left untreated, thankfully she never gave up her Malaysian citizenship for this very reason. Except now I am off of work till I arrange babysitting, but that cost does not show up in their planning.

Posted by: Colin at July 17, 2009 2:26 PM

Hospital ships, cruising up and down the coasts, just over the line in International Waters. You'll be able to pay someone to sail grandma out there in the dead of night.

Or even better, tort reform.
Posted by: Black Mamba

Too funny!!! Unfortunatly it looks like an all too likely senerio. Real life has over taken satire it seems.
Obama dosent want to give health care to people . He wants health care to control people as we know all to well in the Canada's.
Its an instrument of intrusion for all manner of federal control, including overturning what should only be State law.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at July 17, 2009 7:38 PM

"It 'boogles' the mind the way the Democrats attack anything Conservative Christian Republican.."


Gee, and the Repubs don't attack anything Democratic/Liberal? I thought that was sort of the point - you know, two party system, each fighting for their own philosophy, etc.

But what, pray tell, is 'Christian', remotely, about Republicanism/Conservatism? How does purposely acting in direct opposition to the principles articulated by Christ make conservatives 'Christian'?

Case in point: the spirited movement to deny poor kids access to health care, at the behest of your corporate overlords, as is seen on this blog?

Posted by: bleetie at July 17, 2009 9:54 PM

Case in point: the spirited movement to deny poor kids access to health care, at the behest of your corporate overlords, as is seen on this blog?

Odd... I always thought it was illegal in the US to be turned away at a hospital if you couldn't afford to pay. Doubtless there are many instances reported by the drive-by media on this; I must have missed them. Certainly, this is not the socialist healthcare practice in Ontario, where you get the benefit of comfy chairs in Emerg, and can get some serious reading accomplished before you're treated (I've finished short novels on occasion). Nor is it the practice in England, where the solution to "fixing" waiting times for folks delivered by ambulance to Emerg wards was to refuse to unload 'em until they could free up a bed; poor old Uncle Harry could just deal with his stroke or whatnot in the ambulance, until St. Whatever was ready to see him.

Medicare & Medicaid are deeply in the red in every state, and the "Christian" solution is to completely wipe-out the privatized healthcare solution that works for the vast number of Americans who choose to participate (nobody's fooled by the "47 million without healthcare" canard) and socialize EVERYTHING? So now EVERYBODY gets to wait for rationed care, eh? That's some solution, all right, but typical of socialism: the equal distribution of misery.

And how many millions of illegals are draining the public health system options in the US? Don't think they aren't set on the border for immigration reform, and then they can waltz across for their "rightful" care, too.

The US system is plagued by 2 significant problems:

1. Payment via 3rd parties (HMOs and insurance companies), and this promotes excessive costs

2. Insane tort law, where bloodsucking lawyers get rich suing doctors for routine procedures. Once, a reasonable defense was that if somebody was harmed by a MD doing a standard or commonplace procedure (i.e., something that worked in the vast majority of cases) and some unexpected problem arose, they could use. Not any longer. The US could reduce healthcare costs dramatically by limiting tort law in this area, and you would see a reduction in the amount of redundant testing and diagnostics MD's require for CYA purposes.

Supply and demand applies to medicine, too. Who's going to go through med school and pay outrageous malpractice insurance to have their wages garnished by the government? As was noted in another post, the US may soon find that nobody is actually forced to become a doctor, or a specialist. And, doubtless there will be an equal number of landmark medical breakthroughs under the nationalized medical system, just as there are under all government-run schemes. It's in the bag.

Ahh, well. America has the unparalleled braintrust of the likes of obama, pelosi, reid, frank, dodd, and now franken... I'm sure it'll all work out for the best; just look at what they've achieved for the automotive and banking sectors.

at gmail d0t calm

Posted by: mhb at July 17, 2009 11:16 PM

Everyone knows, mhb, that you can get cared for at the hospital in the US - and lose your home trying to pay for it as a result.

73% of Americans want universal health care. The only ones that don't are the dupes who blindly regurgitate whatever their corporate overlords tell them to repeat in the name of profit.

Glad to see you're carrying on that grand tradition here.

Posted by: bleetie at July 17, 2009 11:59 PM

"that you can get cared for at the hospital in the US - and lose your home trying to pay for it as a result"

So, let me see, in which states can you lose your home in a bankruptcy if you still have the income to pay for it? bleetie, I am calling BS on you, and I expect that since "everyone knows" it, you can provide some evidence that you are not either a mindless dupe or a liar.

The only way you lose your home in a bankruptcy in the US is if you have lost the means to pay for it, for example, your job. How do medical bills make you lose your job?

bleetie? ..... bleetie?

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 18, 2009 7:09 AM

tim in vermont:

Don't worry about bleetie. He uses cheap logical fallacies, such as appeal to belief ("everyone knows that...") to try to sway others to his argument. That's an easy one to sidestep, but as long as you're into cheap fallacies, bleetie, how about this one:

Everyone knows you can die waiting for diagnosis treatment in Canada since healthcare is rationed because it's "free". Or everyone knows you can go ages without proper diagnosis in Canada because there aren't enough specialists. Everyone knows it is almost impossible to get a GP in Ontario because there are too few of them. Hey - this is fun!

Actually, it isn't "fun", and there is more grim truth to the thoughts above than should be true. I know folks who would have died in Ontario awaiting heart bypass surgeries, and had to go to Detroit to have the operations done. My mother has spent years shuttling from specialists her GP recommended, but has been unable to see anybody in a larger center because the GP won't make the call; why shouldn't she be able to go to whom she chooses?

I also challenge bleetie for proof of his "73% of Americans want universal health care", and call BS on that. Reasonable estimates put the "uninsured" at someplace between 10 to 15 million, once you remove the illegal aliens, those who choose not to enroll in an insurance plan, those who are in between jobs (with no healthcare paid by employers, etc.). The "40 million" figure is a loaded number played by the left.

More and more Americans are getting wind of what socialised medicine really means: line-ups, lack of choice for doctors and specialists, reduced numbers of doctors, reduced medical technology and innovation, lower quality of care, etc. Those are facts, not the normal leftish drivel that bleetie is spewing, above.

Is money a problem for people facing healthcare issues with no insurance? Yes. Medicare & Medicaid are there to assist in this case, but they are overspent in every state; bleetie thinks the "magical" solution is to thus place EVERYONE on a Medicaid-type plan. Brilliant. So who pays for that? Oops... I forgot: the "rich".

For the $trillions obama & co. are earmarking for socialised medicine, the "rich" will soon include the middle class.

Solutions could include tort reform as I mentioned above, and getting the government regulation out of the medical business, where their meddling has caused costs to spiral out of control (similar to the meddling that caused the housing bubble). More people could afford catastrophic medical insurance if they weren't forced to pay ridiculous premiums that covered every malady known to man: AIDS, port wine stains, the works. But the governments won't allow this, so premiums are often not affordable.

Regurgitating leftish bromides above, such as bleetie happily partakes, won't solve the problem. Honest dialogue and getting statist control out of the process is a good start, and getting the government to recognize it is a major reason why US healthcare has become unaffordable by too many is vital to the process. It wouldn't hurt to remember what Reagan once observed (paraphrased):

"Don't ask the government to solve the problem, as more often than not, government is the problem."


Posted by: mhb at July 18, 2009 10:27 AM

Certainly is entertaining to listen to you so-called 'Christians' work through through your labyrinthine reasonings as to why you want to deny poor kids healthcare.

When the real and only reason of course, is that you're ass-sucking stooges of the corporate elite.

Good work, guys! Row harder!

Posted by: bleetie at July 18, 2009 12:36 PM

... and when bleet(ie) and the left are backed into a corner and assaulted with facts, not rhetoric, they come out a huffin' and a puffin' with the ad hominems. Who saw that coming?

At least you're consistent in your approach, pal.


Posted by: mhb at July 18, 2009 2:08 PM

"Good work, guys! Row harder!"

Wowsa bleetie. I ain't no Christian, I am an atheist. I just have sympathy for Christians, I guess that would make me a "Christianist lover" in your world

I made a simple declarative statement that you could have refuted with a simple counterexample. I was leading with my chin, and guess what, you couldn't find one.

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 19, 2009 7:55 AM

I know this is anecdotal, but following this link on SDA and watching the clip, you'll hear somewhat less than "73%" approval for the idea of nationalized healthcare.


Posted by: mhb at July 19, 2009 2:24 PM

I know this is anecdotal, but following this link on SDA and watching the clip, you'll hear somewhat less than "73%" approval for the idea of nationalized healthcare.

Small-town America speaks up.


Posted by: mhb at July 19, 2009 2:24 PM

Obama's approval number on health care is under 50% now. I am sure that name calling of his opponents will raise that number back up to something that scares moderates, so "Row Harder" bleetie!

Posted by: tim in vermont at July 20, 2009 9:57 AM