Is a government run healthcare system.....a good system?

Christa - posted on 10/28/2009 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Please don't use this thread as a political platform.......for real debate.....what are the pros and cons to a government run healthcare system?

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Sarah - posted on 10/29/2009

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In response to Sharon.....as my 'reply with quote' is screwed!!

The thing is, EVERY system can be abused in some way.
Yes some people who you deem as being unworthy will be treated, but personally for me, i would rather the odd drug user or 'lazy' person got treated along with those who truly need it (which despite the world being the way it is, i still believe good people outweigh the bad)

I would happily pay my taxes for every single person to be able to walk into a hospital and receive treatment free of charge! It shouldn't be about business and money.
Also, what if that drug user receives treatment and goes on to be a valuable member of society?? People can change.......if the help is there.

Also, what do you mean by menial jobs?? As in people who work menial jobs?? If so, that would be me! LOL! :)

Jodi - posted on 10/29/2009

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Australia has a government run health care system. It has its pros and cons. I also personally hold private health insurance, because that also has its advantages.



Basically, every taxpayer pays a 1.5% levy on their income above a certain amount (I can't recall what the minimum is, I think its around $13,000), and an extra 1% if they don't have private health insurance once you earn over a certain amount. A bit complicated, but it is affordable. We are all issued with a Medicare Card, and this gives us free medical care in public hospitals, so every Australian has access to free medical care of some sort. As an example, my step-son had meningitis last year, and was in hospital for a week, with the top specialists investigating, and it didn't cost us a cent. My husband's ex also had a baby who had to have 3 heart surgeries that would have cost a fortune under a private system, but it cost them nothing, and as they were from a rural area, they also had somewhere to stay as a family that was inexpensive.



On the con side, there is a waiting list for "elective" procedures in the public system. If you have private insurance, you can skip the waiting list and go private, but you do end up being out of pocket in some way in most cases (you probably think of elective procedures as something like liposuction, or elective caesarian. But my father had cancer, and his radiotherapy was considered elective, and the waiting list was 6 months......he chose to pay to go private. However, it was only $1000 to do this, so in a way, the price was not excessive). I had both my children under private insurance in private hospitals, and I was out of pocket no more than $1000. One of those children was in the special care nursery. However, private health insurance here STARTS at around $100 a month.



Our system isn't perfect. I don't know how much it costs you in the US to see a doctor, but I am usually out of pocket (after the rebates) about $30 per visit. Doctor visits aren't covered by private insurance, but they are partially covered by Medicare. Concession card holders (low income) get it free at my clinic. I have been known to wait 4 hours in emergency (my son needed stitches). I waited 2 hours haemorraging from a miscarriage and lost so much blood while I waited they had trouble finding a vein..... but our hospital here in Canberra was recently rated with the worst waiting times in the country because our Territory government can't get their heads out of their backsides.



However, while a public system is not perfect, it is much better than paying $1000 a month for health insurance when you are financially strugglin just to get medical care you can afford!!! Everyone deserves to be able to get appropriate medical care regardless of their financial ability to pay for it.



EDITED: Sorry, just found lots of typos and have fixed it up. I am on pain meds for my broken ribs and they blur my brain a little. I hate to think what sort of result my son will get on this week's homework, given I had to explain his maths to him!!

Johnny - posted on 10/28/2009

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I'm very very satisfied with our healthcare system most of the time. As Laura said, occasionally the wait times are longer than one would desire, but I've never met anyone personally whose life was ever jeopardized by this. Not even close. We do pay, both through our taxes and through what is called the Medical Services Plan (here in BC) for our healthcare, and occasionally there are fees associated with certain services. Eyec are and dental care is not covered by our universal healthcare. As in the US, many people like my family hold employer-based health coverage that we call "Extended Medical" which is for things like dental, eye care, orthodontics, prosthetics, diabetic supplies, and private hospital rooms. Although, people over the age of 65 and those who are too poor are usually covered for these things by their provincial plans. Our family pays $108/month (which I believe is the top rate) for the Medical Services Plan. Although we are fortunate that my husband's employer covers that cost. When I was single I paid for it through my employer. Each employer has their own way of doing things.

I have had excellent experiences with our healthcare system. When I was 25 I had a severe reaction to an antibiotic and my kidneys failed. I blew up like a balloon due to edema and went straight to emergency. I did not have to wait at all, they took one look at me, rushed me in, and treated me right away. I was in hospital for 4 days and the care was excellent. I live in a major centre and was at our large general hospital. I have also had numerous cysts in my breasts which have caused extensive pain in my rib cage. I have had three surgeries to remove them and have never had to wait more than a couple months for surgery. And keep in mind that it is not life-threatening or even a real risk to my health.

I would never ever consider giving up universal health care. It has served me and all of my loved ones and friends very well. It is wonderful to know that when you become sick that you can focus on getting well, not worrying about paying the bills or fighting with the insurance company. We pay taxes which are based on our income, we receive services that our based on our needs. It works for us.

I would also like to add that honestly, my family is quite well-off. In the US we could easily afford a good quality health care plan. My parents taught me, and my husband and I also believe, that it is a privilege to pay taxes so that these services can be provided to us. I know when I see those deductions on my pay cheque or have to write that extra cheque to the government at the end of the year that I paying for the services that myself, my family, and my friends have used. It is not a burden to pay for health.

I'm sorry if this sounds too political. I just wanted to be clear that it is not only the people who can not currently afford to pay that are benefiting from this system. We probably pay more than what some people would consider "our fair share", and I feel privileged to do so. It makes me happy to know that my tax dollars will some how filter through to someone like Laura who happens to need more than I do at this time. We may all find ourselves coming up short of cash one day, if we all work together, we'll all make it through.

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Charlie - posted on 11/07/2009

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Quoting Jodi:

Australia has a government run health care system. It has its pros and cons. I also personally hold private health insurance, because that also has its advantages.

Basically, every taxpayer pays a 1.5% levy on their income above a certain amount (I can't recall what the minimum is, I think its around $13,000), and an extra 1% if they don't have private health insurance once you earn over a certain amount. A bit complicated, but it is affordable. We are all issued with a Medicare Card, and this gives us free medical care in public hospitals, so every Australian has access to free medical care of some sort. As an example, my step-son had meningitis last year, and was in hospital for a week, with the top specialists investigating, and it didn't cost us a cent. My husband's ex also had a baby who had to have 3 heart surgeries that would have cost a fortune under a private system, but it cost them nothing, and as they were from a rural area, they also had somewhere to stay as a family that was inexpensive.


I am Australian so what Jodi has written aplies for me too , My personal experince with our healthcare systme has been nothing but the best unlike Jodi i do not hold private healthcare and only go through Medicare , my last pregnancy was fantastic i did not pay for anything ( i paid in taxes but its not noticible ) doctors visits , ultrasounds , bloodtests , hospital stays NOTHING .Emergancy care i have needed has always been fast a reliable and no upfront charge .I am very happy with the way our government run healthcare is set up although there are a few glitches its always been good for myself and my  family .

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I'm in Canda as well. I believe any health system has advantages and disadvantages. We do have extra benefits through my husbands work which helps cover what UHC doesn't.



My son was born 14 weeks premature and was in hospital for 114 days before coming home. One day we were talking to his nurse about the cost of health care. She said that it was costing about $5000 a day just for my son. Of course, as he got stronger and needed less equipment the cost would go down but still....I couldn't imagine having to pay that bill. That's not even taking into account the four days I was hospitalized before his birth, the emergency c-section, or the four days I was in hospital afterwards. Yikes, without UHC we'd all be on the streets.



Sometimes the wait times are little long and there's shortages of doctors in some areas but I'll gladly pay out those tax dollars knowing that those who need medical help can get it without wondering if they can afford it.

Christa - posted on 10/30/2009

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this has been very interesting.....thank you taking the time to reply and share your stories and experiences.

Ez - posted on 10/29/2009

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I'm Australian and also work in the medical field (medical receptionist) so I have both my own personal experience as well as knowledge of our patient's situations regarding this issue. Our UHC is not perfect, as Jodi mentioned, but it is FAR better than the alternative IMO.

I did what is called 'shared-care' for my pregnancy, which means I had some of my ante-natal care with my GP (mostly at the beginning), has ultrasounds (and one consult for a complication) with a private OB, and the rest in a public hospital, where I also gave birth. So I was out of pocket a few hundred dollars, but this was my choice. I could have elected to go completely public and it would not have cost me a cent. I also had complications after delivery and required a blood transfusion and extended hospital stay (6 days). This was also completely covered by Medicare.

My daughter got bronchiolitis at 4 months old, and after several doctor's visits in the days prior, I had to rush her to Emergency late one Saturday night. We literally waited 20 minutes, and that was including seeing the triage nurse who gave me electrolytes to feed her through a syringe to try and avoid dehydration. She spent two days in hospital on oxygen, was seen by the top paediatrician in my city, and it was all covered. Being a single parent, there is no way in the world I could have paid for such care without UHC.

Milla has also had problems with her hips. We've had an ultrasound and an xray, and have an appointment with the Paediatric Orthopoedic Specialist next week to assess whether a brace is necessary. This is all through the public system, and the wait for the specialist appointment was a month. Not ideal, but not unacceptable to me either as it's not a serious risk to her health.

Professionally, I've seen many many advantages of our government-run health care. The surgery I work for is located in a lower socio-economic area, and only a small percentage of patients can afford private health insurance (a lot of them can barely afford the $15 concession rate our doctors charge them once a month). I've seen these patients get immediate treatment for urgent and life-threatening matters, but yes they will wait for an appointment with an ortho about their bad knee :-p The scare-mongering about excessive waiting times under UHC is ridiculous.

Anna - posted on 10/29/2009

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In New Zealand we have a government run health system and I think it is a good thing. For example, all maternity care is free. Child health care is free. Surgery is free. You have to pay to go to the doctor but the price is reduced for those on a low income. think it is really necessary, because it would be terrible if people weren't getting treated because they couldn't afford it. I would hate to think that anybody's kids were going without medical care because of their parents' low income. I want my family to be looked after, I want everybody's family to be looked after.
It's not perfect - some people have to wait a long time for their surgery but it's better than not getting it at all.
I don't mind at all paying taxes for health and education and welfare for everybody in my society. I would mind paying taxes for corporate subsidies and excessive military however.

Amie - posted on 10/29/2009

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I'm in Saskatchewan, Canada. (The birth place of Universal health care in Canada. Go Sask! LOL)



I will admit our system does have flaws. Long wait times in ER's are because of people not using the ER for actual emergencies. Though I have had good experiences with going. I only go when we need to actually go. Our city has minor emergency clinics all over the place so if we can't get in to see our doctor we go there. I don't remember the longest time I've waited because no one in our family has ever really had to wait. We go for actual emergencies.



In rural settings I can understand some of the difficulties UHC is often complained about for. Shortage of doctors in rural settings is higher than it is in urban centers. Though that's only GP's. Specialist's book appointments and travel from the cities on rotation to each individual town to help combat travel costs for the patients. One week a certain one will take time from his/her practice and go to this area (which is solely theirs to work in), next week another goes to another area, etc. It's a simplified version I am giving of this though since there are many specialists that do this here.



My family in large do have different health problems. I have an uncle with sleep apnea (stops breathing when he sleeps), another uncle and a grandma with diabetes, my mother has asthma, my cousins have celiacs, another cousin and an aunt had cancer, my grandpa had heart issues, my other grandma had a stroke, our two oldest children had hearing problems, the list goes on for quite some time.



I myself worry about my own health and the health of my children as they get older. I do not however worry about the cost of them getting any of these illnesses. I know the care will be available to them in a timely manner. Not a single one of my family members has ever had to wait for treatment. Even the ones without extended benefits insurance didn't worry about the cost of meds because our doctors make the effort to prescribe the lowest dose and the lowest costing drugs available. Our oldest daughter for example is on slow release Ritalin. She could have been put on other drugs to help with her ADHD but her specialist chose ritalin because it is the cheapest and does the same job. If however it ever stops working then she will be bumped up to the next med. But the effort was made to ensure lowest cost with an effective medication.



Even at that our doctors don't normally over prescribe either. Medication is only given when needed. Our drugs classified as narcotics are even harder to obtain.



I used to pay for extended benefits for our children but they are now covered under my husband's work plan. So they are covered should they need it. Saskatchewan also has it open for all youth under 18 to get free eye exams. I think the regular check ups for dental may be covered too but I cant' remember. I know I don't pay when mine go in but am not sure if that's because of our coverage or if it's part of the youth program.



I'm quite happy with our system. I am gladly willing to pay for it even without my families predisposition to serious problems. I don't mind waiting if it means someone who needs care more urgently than I do gets bumped up.



I do want to make a correction though. It's not 16 cents per tax dollar paid that goes to UHC. It's 9 cents. =) That's on the federal level. Provinces after that can choose to charge Health care premiums (basically an added tax to each individual or family) to help with costs in that province if they so choose. As Alberta has done in the past.

Jocelyn - posted on 10/29/2009

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Well I am in Alberta Canada, and the provincial health care is now free to all. Until last year we did have to pay premiums (amount depended on income level). When I was single I paid $88 for 3 months and for our family we paid $144 for 3 months. Then we got it subsidized due to a bit of financial trouble.
I wouldn't trade our gov't health care for anything. We do have extended insurance thru a private company tho (for dental, prescriptions etc). I have never waited for more than an hour or so to get into the emergency care clinic or the emergency room. I only have to wait a day or so to see our family gp. I have never had to pay for an ultrasound, blood work, hospital room (unless I wanted an upgrade to a private room), ambulance ride (when I had appendicitis I needed to be transferred between hospitals). There still needs to be some work done on the system, for instance I think they need more emphases on preventive care (like chiropractic work, it is no longer subsidized) but things like midwives and breast reductions are covered. Oh and emergency dental is covered, my hubby had a tooth that was literally rotting in his mouth from the inside out (insert "eeewwww" here) and the only thing we ended up paying for was the antibiotics.
I can't even imagine paying for private health care like in the states (for instance my daughter could be denied due to being in the 97th percentile--to reference a previous topic lol). We are considered lower-middle income, and all our money goes to other bills, we would have nothing left over for private insurance. (Our private insurance now is paid in part by my hubbys work). It makes me think of that episode of Friends where Rachelle had to pretend to be Monica to use her insurance when she broke her wrist :P
I will gladly pay my taxes so that everyone can get the medical care they need. You can't really skimp on something as important as health care...

Jenny - posted on 10/29/2009

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I am also in BC, Canada and have UHC. Our clinics are still private but funded through the government. Basically if you don't agree to the government's fee schedule you can't bill them for public work. The individual MSP bill will be $57 in Jan 2010 for those above $28,000 per year, $0.00 for those under $20,000 and various percentages of that amount for those in between. My partner's company fully funds our MSP which is nice as well as 80% extended benefits and 100% for the kids. Our provincial budget for health care was $13.591 Billion last fiscal year for a population of 3 million with the largest segment of seniors per capita in the country. That works out to $4503.33 per citizen.



I personally have had two Csections, maternity care, xrays, and a tonsillectomy in our system. Other than that I've been very healthy. I do like that our government puts a strong emphasis on prenantal care, all of our bloodwork, checkups, ultrasounds etc. are fully covered and I was in and out quickly for everything.



My family has extensive experience in the system. My mom had an anyeurism (sp?) in her brain burst and was in the Intensive Care Unit for months. She had brain surgeries and a few other maintenance operation such as the addition of a shunt to drain the fluid from her brain to her stomach. She was a single mom as my dad died when I was young. She worked cleaning her whole life and was never well off. She received world class care and is doing well, although mentallly will never be the same person.



My niece was born with a malformed heart known as "Blue Baby Syndrome", not sure what it is called medically. She had two open heart surgeries before she was 4 years old and now has a pig valve in her heart. She will need another when she hits puberty to put in a larger valve.



My grandparents have gone through various cancers, strokes, glaucoma, diabetes and there's a chance my Grandmother may need a kidney soon.



Through all of these challenges we got to focus on our family and getting through it. Not one time did we ever discuss funding or have to make choices on treatment based on price. We never shopped around. We just went to a doctor/hospital and got treatment. Nobody in my country has ever declared bankruptcy due to health care since UHC.



I do agree the ER is being misused for sure. I'd like to see 24 hours walk in clinics by ER's to weed out the people with sprains, flus etc. and leave the ER for true emergencies. Even with that, the few times I've been in I've never waiting longer than an hour and that was for a steam burn on my arm.



We also make a good living and contribute a large amount of taxes, something like 2500 a month. I have no problem paying more than our share to include all members of my country. I don't see how people can "abuse" a medical system, if you need help, you get help and that should be the end of it. I don't even care if you are a citizen, if you need help, get help. Should hard times come my way in the future it will be available to me as well as it has been to the rest of my family. I would never, ever give up our health care system.

Esther - posted on 10/29/2009

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I grew up in Holland and only moved to the States in 2001 (when I was 28). Having to worry about health care cost is an entirely new concept for me. That was never an issue in Holland. When I needed care, I got it. End of story. No bills to be paid. The care was on par with the care I receive in the States. As in other countries with universal health care there were waits sometimes for non urgent procedures, but never for anything critical. BTW - Holland has kind of a unique system where health care is universal and it is (heavily) regulated by the government, but it's still run by private insurance companies. It's not unlike the system Obama is proposing in the US now. I honestly don't even know what I paid in premiums but at the end of the day, I think I took home as much or more there than I do here (working in the same position for the same firm, just in Amsterdam vs New York). We also get child support from the goverment, daycare is subsidized, you even get vacation money (which is great considering I got almost triple the number of vacation days I get here). Oh, and when you have a baby, a pediatric nurse will come to your house for a week or so (maybe a bit longer) to take care of you and the baby. They will teach you the ropes, they will cook dinner and they will do some light cleaning. All free. You also get about 4.5 months of maternity leave (fully paid, 6 weeks before your due date, 12 weeks after, if your baby arrives late, you're lucky, you just get more time off, if they arrive early, you get to take the extra time after). I am holding on to my Dutch passport for dear life because if I, my husband or GOD FORBID my son ever got seriously ill, I'd be on the first plane back in order to avoid being denied care because it hurts my insurance company's bottom line or going bankrupt trying to get what I need.



However, I will say this - there are many reasons I prefer living in the US over living in Holland. Health care definitely does not make that list, but I think generally the people here are much friendlier, the country is simply more beautiful (more green etc.), I like broadening my horizon by living abroad, I love that my son is growing up bi-lingual, day-to-day life (when everything is going well) is just more pleasant than it is in Holland, etc. Another big difference is that because we have higher tax rates in Holland, people expect that everything will be taken care off for them (paid for by their tax dollars). And they mostly are. But it means that few people do volunteer work. Few people roll up their sleeves and get personally involved. I actually think that the personal involvement, the taking care of your neighbors, the sense of community I find here are better. There should be a mimimum standard of living that is guaranteed for all. I don't think that anyone responsible should have to worry about having a roof over their head or getting the medical care they need, and I will HAPPILY pay taxes to ensure that for all, but beyond that, I think it's wonderful that people here go to their neighbor's home when they lose their job to bring them a casserole. You wouldn't see that happen in Holland.

Christa - posted on 10/29/2009

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Thank you ladies very much for your input. I really just wanted to hear from normal moms what they think. The media in the US only tells us what they want sometimes. A news channel for it...that is all they talk about. Another channel against it.....that is all they talk about. We need someone really there for us to report all sides and allow us to make our own mind on where we stand. What you describe doesn't seem so bad. It is scary to think of change though. My husband and I have five kids, I am a SAHM, we live off of one income and we do okay. But have deductible every year for our medical expenses and then pay 20% of our medical costs after that....to a certain point. Once we reach a certain out-of-pocket...insurance pays 100% of our medical bills (so far that has only ever happened during a year that we had a child). We are afraid for how that would change. So thank you for sharing and being honest.

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I'm really on the fence with this issue. On one hand, it *is* a problem when relatively healthy people cannot afford health insurance. All it takes is one illness or event to send them into a downward spiral of bankruptcy, oh let's say over a broken leg or the flu. Then if someone who does have health care issues, is low income, and cannot afford medical insurance, they are provided Medicaid, which is a poor quality, long wait times, and substandard care. The tax payers still pay for the Medicaid patients anyway. So should taxpayers pay more for lower income people to receive a quality healthcare? That's where I'm torn and undecided. Being medically disabled and unable to work and contribute to the system is one thing. But sitting around, being lazy, bouncing in and out of jail, drug abuse, rehabs, menial jobs-why should I help those people? This is where I am torn.

Jackie - posted on 10/29/2009

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I am Canadian also and I would like to share my families history with the health care system. Let me clearly state that I have NEVER waited longer then 40 minutes in an Emergency room/Urgent Care. There is a reason for this and that is because I use the system properly. Most people who wait 4 hours it is due to the fact they should be at home nursing their cold or they should be in their family doctors office and not in the ER. Our Service is provided by who needs it the most right away.. and not by who has the most money or who came in first. You walk into an ER with a tummy bug and a 1 month old comes in with RSV/pneumonia... they are taking the baby first and you are going to wait.

Now for our story, we have a healthy 11 year old. She was rushed to the hospital at 1 1/2 due to a seizure caused by a fever. Other then that she has had a very normal childhood as far as health goes. My son on the other hand; his first 10 months of life were perfect. He never even got a sniffle. Then we had to take him to a urgent care in the middle of the night for an ear infection. Started the antibiotics and 3 days later were in an ER because he was barely moving, he wasn't eating and well we just knew something wasn't right. He was admitted that night for RSV/pneumonia which i might add is RARE for babies his age especially if they don't have a lung/heart issue. We spent 12 days in one of the best childrens hospitals in Ontario. Every single day we had...

Blood work every 4 hours
1 X-ray a day
Every 4 hours a Respiratory Therapist and long with a Ventaline Treatment

We were in isolation and then moved up to Step Down *Level of care before PICU* and then moved into the regular ward. My husband was laid off during all this. We were only able to pay our rent due to help from his mother who lived with us at the time. The care my son received over those 2 weeks would have put us out on the streets.

My son stopped talking after that. By the time he was 2 1/2 we realized it was more then just that trauma. We took him and had him tested for speech delays. And he qualified. For the last 3 years he has been receiving regular private speech therapy lessons. We graduate today!! This would have ran me at least $2000 a year. I'm good with money but that would have been very difficult to find in the budget. But OHIP covered it all.

Just after starting speech and daycare my son started to get ear infections. Really bad ear infections!! My family doctor would have him in the office within 20 minutes of me calling. Again with the no waiting. He had 8 in 8 months! We were sent to a specialist and yes we had to wait a little while. But my sons doctor is the head of ENT for our area. I am willing to wait to have the best. My family doctor knows this and picked him for us. It would have been quicker if we had just taken any doctor in the office. My son had a prolapsed tube and congested ears. He had to have tubes put in his ears. We did have to wait a while for the surgery despite being on a cancellation list. But no mother in their right minds cancels a surgery with the ENT unless they have to. And once again covered 100% by OHIP.

My point about all this is if we lived state side... we would be paying off his medical bills long after he was married and out of the house. There is no way we would be able to afford medical insurance for a family but we also wouldn't qualify for much help. Health and health care is a basic human right and everyone is entitled to the same care no matter what their situation is. Health care is NOT a business and never should be a business because the only people who suffer are the general public.

Sarah - posted on 10/29/2009

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Ok, so i will totally not be political because i don't know the in's and out's of things like that! LOL!!
I can tell you of my experiences tho......

I'm from the UK and i've never really had any problems with the Healthcare i've received.

When i was 18, i had really bad stomach pains, went to the doctors and they thought it was IBS, gave me some tablets but it got worse. Went back to the doctors and he said 'I think you need your appendix out'
4hrs later i was in surgery.
So no long waiting time there!! lol

I've been to A&E a few times.......i had longish waits when it was for myself (once was a Saturday evening so BOUND to be a longer wait) but the few times i've been there for the kids, we were seen very quickly.

The doctors surgery has been kinda the same, longer waits when it was an appointment for me, but very quick when it's for the kids. If i needed to see a doctor today, i could.
In England, we pay for prescriptions, £7.20 i think, but kids, the elderly and prescriptions for contraception is free.

Both my births have been fine in NHS hospitals.

As my youngest was breech, we had 2 hip scans. If we didn't have NHS, i assume we would have had to pay for those?? Here every breech baby gets a hip scan, no cost.

I think if we lived in the US, we would be a family that would struggle to pay insurance costs, we're not well off, we struggle to get by sometimes. So i'm SO glad we have the NHS!!!

I just think it's so sad that at a time when the emphasis should be on getting better.....people have to worry about going bankrupt!

I've paid my taxes all my life and so has my husband......although occasionally i've moaned about how much the 'Tax Man' is taking, it's worth it. I would hate to think of people dying or going bankrupt because they can't afford healthcare.
As for it being government run, to be honest for me, it never even enters my mind!
:)

Isobel - posted on 10/28/2009

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Carol, Thank you soooo much...I am happy to know that the fact that I believe in these principals is not JUST because I am who I am at this exact moment.

Isobel - posted on 10/28/2009

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by the way...I payed these taxes for over 10 years...my current situation is temporary, due to a divorce as my wages were not enough to cover daycare, let alone food and rent. One more time...I am proud that this system rewards accomplishment and drive...not just insisting on welfare or nothing.

Isobel - posted on 10/28/2009

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Canada pays 16 cents per dollar on health care. Our population is 33,212,696...to be honest, I am a single mother and a student so, I personally do not pay into the system at this exact moment. When I was working, full time, I payed approximately $300 per month toward taxes...I know it's not really relevant, but our system also covers a percentage of my tuition and living costs, in hopes to end the cycle of poverty...another system I am proud of. I have paid into it in the past, and will be happy to do so again in the future.

Christa - posted on 10/28/2009

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Laura, how much does your healthcare in Canada cost you personally.....is that too personal to ask? Just trying to understand how much it would cost a family.

Isobel - posted on 10/28/2009

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As a con...by the way, we do have longer line ups (in my city at least 5 million people), they are not nearly as long as some would have you believe... but still longer than desirable. As I mentioned in my previous post, my city has begun to open private clinics to ease some of the wait time.

I should mention that neither of the people I mentioned in the previous post had to wait even one day. The waits are longer for elective processes.

Isobel - posted on 10/28/2009

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well...I live in Canada. We have a government run health care system. I would first like to make it clear that by my understanding, Obama is NOT proposing one.



I love our health care system. It is in no way perfect, but (in my city anyway) improvements have been made with the opening of the first private clinic. (we may now choose which system we prefer).



I have many friends and family members who have received treatments that would likely have bankrupted any American family. My father has type one diabetes, has lost a leg to the disease and one eye to glaucoma (a side effect of diabetes). He has had numerous surgeries to try to save both, at a price I cannot even imagine. My best friend had a baby contract bacterial meningitis at 4 months of age...she now has permanent scars, has no teeth, her legs will grow no longer (since she turned 7) and she is beginning to show signs of a learning disability. All of these problems are covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Program) She is covered for dentures and prosthetic shoes, and our school system also covers extra learning programs, she will also be covered should she and her parents decide on a leg-lengthening process when that time comes.



Another woman suggested that this type of aid was asking too much of those who don't need it and would be expected to pay for it. I don't need it...and I am proud to have a small percentage of my taxes (nowhere near the cost of insurance payments) to make sure that people who need it are taken care of...myself included.

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