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Anti-Single Payer Trolling

Astroturfer

Astroturfer

The astroturfing of the blogosphere continues.  From “No Thank You” in the comments to my earlier post:

Universal Health Care = Rationed Health Care

Waiting lists are for dinner reservations, not doctor referrals.

No, thank you.

[…]

I used to be a citizen of Canada. My wife died of IBC 15 months ago. She was referred by our doctor to an IBC specialist. After waiting for an appointment for 4 weeks, her breast had swollen to nearly two times it’s normal size. We took her to the hospital, and she died two days later.

I am not in need of a lecture on universal health care. I know exactly what it means. Cheaper/Free insurance, and lots of pain.

What a tragic story. Only a heartless monster would dare to challenge it.  A heartless monster like me.

First of all, “rationed health care” is a wingnut talking point.  The catchy little line about dinner reservations was a nice touch – professional quality.  But the comeback in the second comment was a classic troll move designed to squish any challenge with guilt and shame.  Too bad for our visitor that I’m shameless.

A total stranger drops by to share a heartbreaking story of the evils of socialized medicine.  Proof?

None.

Sorry, but I don’t believe it.

But even if the story was true it would be anecdotal and not necessarily typical.  We’re not even provided with causation – an explanation of how the alleged delay caused death.  Unfortunately when he discovered we aren’t sheeple our visitor skeedaddled without providing answers.

Canada has had single payer health insurance for over 30 years.  They seem pretty happy with it.  From “Debunking Canadian Health Care Myths” by Rhonda Hackett:

There are no waits for urgent or primary care in Canada. There are reasonable waits for most specialists’ care, and much longer waits for elective surgery. Yes, there are those instances where a patient can wait up to a month for radiation therapy for breast cancer or prostate cancer, for example. However, the wait has nothing to do with money per se, but everything to do with the lack of radiation therapists. Despite such waits, however, it is noteworthy that Canada boasts lower incident and mortality rates than the U.S. for all cancers combined, according to the U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group and the Canadian Cancer Society. Moreover, fewer Canadians (11.3 percent) than Americans (14.4 percent) admit unmet health care needs.

Reality has a well known liberal bias.


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81 Responses

  1. From CBS:

    Emboldened by polls that show public backing for a government health insurance plan, Democrats are moving to make it a politically defining issue in the debate over the future of medical care.

    Behind-the-scenes attempts to get a deal with Republicans on nonprofit co-ops as an alternative to a public plan have led only to frustration, complains a key Democrat. He and his colleagues may have to go it alone, said Sen. Chuck Schumer.

    The co-ops were seen as perhaps the last hope for compromise on a contentious issue that threatens any remaining prospects of bipartisan support for President Obama’s sweeping plan to remake the health care system.

    “I don’t think I could say with a straight face that this (co-op proposal) is at all close to a nationwide public option,” Schumer, D-N.Y., told The Associated Press on Sunday. “Right now, this co-op idea doesn’t come close to satisfying anyone who wants a public plan.”

    Most Democrats want the final health care bill to include a government sponsored plan that for the first time would be open to middle-class workers and their families. It would be offered alongside private plans through a new kind of insurance purchasing pool called an exchange. Individuals and small businesses would be able to buy coverage through exchanges, but eventually businesses of any size might be able to join.

    Proponents say the option of a public plan in the marketplace would put a brake on costs and check the power of insurers. But Republicans, insurers and many business leaders say a government plan could drive private insurance companies out of business.

    Emboldened or scared? And why is putting private insurers out of business a bad thing?

    • In all the hearings I have gone to, “putting private insurersout of business” wasn’t a concern. In fact one of the biggest HMOs was there and was asking to be part of the talks and later on was on a panel discussion. WHY? Well, because people couldn’t afford the 50% participation scheme of insurance via their work and were dropping the plan and they were losing business.

      So, a Single Payer option, should be looked at and why the Obama administration is refusing to let them onto the table of discussions is beyond me (OK, I think they have more loyalty to their big donors than to the American people).

      Death by Lack of Health Insurance
      http://www.worldproutassembly.org/archives/2008/04/death_by_lack_o.html
      Another recent academic study found that uninsured adults between the ages of 55 and 64 are even more likely to die prematurely. For this group, a lack of health insurance is the third leading cause of death, following heart disease and cancer.

      p.s. You’re shameless? 😯

      • This age group is the one more likely to die of the FLU — and perhaps it is because of the lack of affordable health care?

        So is this a means of population control? — Eliminate of people between 55 and 64 — and only the strongest will survive to the Medicare age??

    • Why is putting private insurers out of business a bad thing?

      Simple answers to simple questions:

      Because then you don’t get a cut from their profits in the form of campaign contributions. Plus, you don’t get invited to any of the cool parties. What’s wrong with you?

  2. Oh, I saw something very similar the other night, ‘Blahh blagh, I support single payer, but we’re going to have to accept rationing and our system isn’t really any worse, and my auntie died in a filthy UK hospital bed waiting 6 months for a new hip….”

    Sounds like Obama is breaking out the Harry and Louise astroturfers.

    • Sounds like Obama is breaking out the Harry and Louise astroturfers again

      Fixt it for ya.

      Kinda funny that the astroturfers are bashing single payer when it isn’t even on the table.

      • they are bashing it because Obama doesn’t want it and said he would kill it forever. Can’t have all those insurance company execs and their visa gift cards disapearing during the next election ya know.

    • I sort of wish Harry and Louise were on TV now. It scares me they don’t feel the need to ramp up a similar campaign…like the fix is already in. But maybe ,for once, we can utilize the Dems propensity for wetting their pants in fear and not just suffer because of it….it would be great if the Dems own base scared the hell of of them instead of the GOP!

    • WTF??? I’m pretty damn sure that’s me your citing. My aunt wasn’t in hospital, she was home. And I’ve been around here (as RWR or RealWorldRadical) as long as most. I’m sorry, but just fuck you all. I have no idea if the person you cite in this post is real or not but to dare to make comments like this. Sorry, I’ve had it with all you “you-don’t agree with-every-word-I-say-so-‘re-a-troll” assholes. You are clueless self-centered asses. This is like the Obama shit all over again. You think you’re different but you’re not. You’ve got people on your side (I’ve fought for this since I was in college. Why the hell do you think I was a Hillary supporter) and you little ignorant shits come out and make fun of me and my very TRUE story about my aunt. I will not be posting here again. And I only hope you folks will get a mirror in which to see your hypocritical little faces.

      • Vaya con Dios!

      • Are you using a sock puppet now? Because that commenter didn’t use the handle “RWR.”

        That’s quite a tantrum there. Sorry you’re having a bad day. Or something….

      • Sorry, what was your tragic healthcare story, again?

        Because as a Canadian citizen who is intimately familiar with the system (my mom has been working in healthcare for more than 30 years), I’d kind of like to know. I am certainly not going to say that there aren’t problems with the Canadian system, and no matter how good the system is, people are going to die in pain of terrible diseases. But I would like to know if your aunt is an example of one of those tragic stories or if she’s another veterinary PET scan line of bullshit.

  3. I don’t want YOU waiting in the same line as me! It makes a lot more sense for you to just take an old-cold-tater and wait.

  4. Thanx, myiq2xu. I read No Thank You’s posts earlier, and was caught up between being very pissed off and concerned he may have been telling the truth. So, I passed on saying anything.

    FWIW…

    With all the cancers and other serious health issues my family, friends and acquaintances have had to deal with over the years, I have NEVER heard of a scenario like No Thank You describes. Never. Not Once.

    My father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, and within 1 day – yes, ONE day – he was in treatment; my grandma was diagnosed with cancer, and within 2 days she was in treatment. Both were in their 80’s.

    My aunt has (barely) lived with leukemia and too many other afflictions to list for the past 20 yrs. She is in hospital more days out of a year than not. She has ALWAYS received expedient and exceptional care, and thankfully, she doesn’t have the added stress of financing.

    Wait times at the emerg (for non-emerg complaints)? Horrible, yes. Waits to set a broken limb? No. Waits for knee surgery (for example)? Yes. Waits to receive treatment for life-threatening illness? No.

  5. Yesterday I was called for a survey on health care – the questions were closed-ended but I managed to say “I have one last thing to say: SINGLE-PAYER – – Now.”

    The interviewer had told me he was calling from Livonia, Michigan at the start of the call and after I said this, he said, “I have to confess, I’m not in Michigan, I’m calling from Canada and none of us understand why your country is having this debate. We all have good heatlh care and none of what you hear is what we experience.” Hmmmm, I thought.

    I responded: “We’re stupid and greedy – that’s the problem.”

  6. Hey mister troll, I hope you are around reading….

    BITE ME. I went without healthcare for two years and I had a TWO YEAR waiting period to see a doctor. I am lucky I am not dead and my story is real.

  7. The irony and hypocrisy is astounding. Out of one side of their mouth, they scream about “competition is the be-all end-all!”, and then grouse knowingly that a public option would be soooooo much worse, and soooooo inefficient, and give suuuuuuch crappy care.

    Okay, if that’s the case, then allow a public option to compete with the private plans, and OF COURSE if it’s as inefficient and crappy as you say, no one will join it, and people will flock to the private plans in droves. Right? Based on your own logic, that is what will happen, so WHY ARE YOU SO FUCKING AFRAID of letting a public plan compete?

    Lying hypocrites.

    • Oh I don’t think these are republican astro-turfers. I think they are mydd/kos astro turfers defending “the one”.

      • No, most of our Republican astroturfers are at least pretty honest about what they think, and what they support, and where their motivations lie.

        I have saner, more honest conversations with the average Free Republic-er than I have with Obots, and that’s amazing. The Obots just slime and oooze and slip around like disgusting little amoral eels.

      • Ya know…that thought crossed my mind.

  8. Firefox crashed before I could get to the troll’s remarks. So thank you for posting them and showing exactly how these lying trolls operate.

    THANK you myiq for skillfully deconstructing the troll’s post — my bet is that Axelroot has activated his flying monkeys again.

    More than likely the troll doesn’t have a wife — and isn’t a Canadian. REAL Canadians love their health care — and most are aware of the mess we have in the US. I know real Canadians — lots and lots of Canadians and I’ve talked to them about their health care.

    These fly-by trolls are probably using software designed to pick up key words on blogs — and then they dump their prepared text and depart. I was amazed at the variety of software availible to assist in tracking multiple blogs and make comments on many different blogs. I did a simple search on Cnet.com — blog software — and discovered the trolls secrets.

    I trust the views and experience of REAL Canadians over a troll any day. I also have friends who are English and they have the option of purchasing supplemental health insurance as do the French (yes I even have friends who are French — and I have questioned them on their county’s health care). (Well ok they all live on a Caribbean island — where the basic health care is free or very cheap FOR ALL — for anything serious they return to their home countries.) Doctors trained in these countries are also very competent — they FOCUS on the patient — whereas in the US it is probably difficult for doctors to focus all their attention on the patient due to the stupid insurance companies.

    Also another difference in US patient/Doctor encounters is that very often the patient is NOT completely forthcoming about many health details that should be shared with the doctor. This was mentioned to me by a non US trained Doctor who deals with expats. Because insurance companies are just waiting to ax anyone from insurance plans — it is in the interest of some patients to NOT give doctors all the health history. Once the US patients realize that the RULES are different outside of the US — then the doctor can really BE a doctor.

    I know some retired expats living overseas do not subscribe to Medicare — they can find and pay for expert medical care in places like Trinidad FOR LESS money, than trying to keep up with Medicare part D and the supplimental insurance required up in the States.

    When you really know the facts of health care outside of the US — you KNOW that the insurance companies and the health care “industry” is screwing the citizens of the US.

    I’ve heard the remarks — “well I don’t want anything to change — I have great health care”. But this is always from someone who really hasn’t had to depend on the insurance companies — these people are speaking of the illusion of a all encompassing health care plan — that doesn’t cover them if they are injured or too sick to work etc. etc. etc. etc.

    • Virtually no one who has had a serious illness will tell you they have great health insurance. Great and insurance is an oxymoron.

    • What’s so horrifying in the states, at least in the clinic where my mother works now, is that they’ve actually instated rules about how many medical complaints you can make. You can’t report more than two symptoms to the doctor or they’ll force you to make additional appointments. And why? Because they can only bill for so much per visit. That is health system, ladies and gentlemen. Make your coffins.

      • Yeah, I know a guy who actually has ok insurance in theory, however he got hurt at work and was in so much pain that they skipped ahead on some of the steps in the long chain you have to go through to actually get someone to help you. Now the insurance company won’t pay because he didn’t go through the proper channels and get proper authorization at each point.

  9. I’m glad you’re a cynic, myiq. Wasn’t there a similar “pity post” during the primaries from a woman who claimed her son was in Iraq, and why we should vote for Obama?

    • “Maybe I’ll start off small — like mayor or something — and go from there,’ he allowed.

      already the kid shoots higher than Obama.

  10. I might add that the Universal Health Care here in Australia is also working remarkably well. At our hospital you only wait 6 months for a tubal ligation (female sterilization) which is the most elective surgery out there beyond removing a few warts.

    The only possible doubt I have from working down here in this system is that the tax rate is very high in Oz. Not knowing the numbers, I would guess that the public health insurance (Medicare) takes a good bit of those taxes.

    • we could all aford to pay those higher taxes if it were not costing us 400 dollars a month for our healthcare.
      It is really just a redirection of money. Our taxes will bwe higher, but not nearly as high as the cost of private insurance.

      • Oh, 400 a month is only OUR portion. Add the employer’s portion to that, and it’s ridiculous.

      • Health care costs include:

        What you have deducted from your pay

        What your employer pays

        What you pay out of pocket for co-pays and uncovered treatments and medicines.

        What you pay in taxes for Medicare, Medicaid and emergency room treatments for the poor.

        • In other words, a really hefty chuck of change!

        • And the tax breaks businesses get for their share of the premiums and the generous health benefits government employees receive and and mansions, planes, yachts and Bentleys for the health insurance jackals.

  11. Doesn’t help that I’ve seen that same anecdote in wingnut emails. They might want to change some words here and there.

    What’s the difference between an obot and a wingnut? None.

    • Wingnuts probably actually believe their own nonsense, Failbots simply believe that Americans are stupid enough to believe anything. They can’t even be bothered to try.

      • Wingnuts are consistent.

        Failbots change their beliefs more often than they change their underwear.

        • If they think they can get away with it, they’ll sling it–and they honestly believe they can get away with anything.

  12. I had my appendix out in Canada in 1960 while visiting with my grandmother. I saw a doctor at 8:00 at night and was recovering from surgery before the sun came up. My parents back in the US were sent a bill for $5.00 to cover the cost of special bandages because I was allergic to the standard ones. And I wasn’t even a Canadian citizen – just a sick little kid on vacation. I say let’s give their system a try.

    • Absolutely! I went to grad school for a few years in Vancouver and was hit by a car crossing the street. I was alone and out of it. The ambulance came and took me to the hospital. I kept getting too anxious and upset, worried that if I couldn’t provide ID or my insurance card (I didn’t have healthcare at the time) they would kick me out on the street. The kind nurse said, “Dear, you’re in Canada.” Yup, nuff said. Seeing doctors, specialists as necessary–no wait, no problem. It was fantastic care.

      But what I did notice was the lack of palatial hospitals or gilded medical plazas and waiting rooms. I’ve been taking my mother to many doctors lately and am always floored at the luxury and waste in American medicine. We’re talking more chandeliers, fountains, landscaping, and deluxe rooms than a five-star hotel! No wonder an overnight stay with one nurse to monitor you is $15k a night.

      And myiq2xu I love your quote at the end of the story: Reality has a well known liberal bias. If you don’t mind, I’m gonna use that one.

  13. No Thank You’s story does pass the sniff test, because IBC is “Inflammatory Breast Cancer”, a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. (see National Cancer Institute)
    Because of its highly aggressive nature, no “IBC specialist” would ever make a patient wait for “four weeks” for an appointment.

    The real threat of IBC is misdiagnosis by a general practitioner. IBC is relatively rare, and its symptoms are often mistaken for something else (a rash, or insect bite, or allergic reaction). But a doctor who suspects IBC is going to know enough about it to understand how aggressive it is, and take the necessary steps to get a correct diagnosis through a biopsy (which doesn’t require a specialist to perform).

    IBC has received considerable publicity (http://www.straight.com/e-mail-inflames-fears-of-aggressive-breast-cancer) in parts of canada because of tragic misdiagnosis. Its likely that this publicity is where our troll got the idea of using IBC as the basis of his faux tragedy…..

    • Paul, It’s great to see you here. I always remember those great charts you put together last year.

    • Aggressive cancers are a bitch. Lots of people fail to do routine screening and self-exam stuff. People who do find scary symptoms often fail to have them investigated right away out of fear. Add in the misdiagnosis stuff, and it can just be too long. It’s sad. But it has very little to do with the triage procedures embedded in the Canadian healthcare system. If anything, the referral requirement for specialists means that specialist appointments happen sooner.

      The primary problem with the Canadian healthcare system is that we don’t have enough GPs and the ones we do have tend to be overworked. Why? Because the big money is moving to the states and specializing.

      • I had one and had to nearly scream at all my doctors to get noticed (with private health care). By the time I was finally got myself correctly diagnosed ,I was stage four and inoperable. Having private insurance had nothing to do with my recovery or treatment. I got stellar treatment on the high risk pregnancy that preceded, then accompanied the cancer and then the cancer because my husband at the time was a Vice President of the Insurance Company and I sent him continually to the decision maker on the plan to override their decisions. I’m sure I’d be dead if my husband hadn’t been in the position to influence my treatments and the hospital I was allowed to go to. I had a placenta previa pregnancy and I refused to go to a catholic hospital and insisted on my Jewish neonatalogist who practiced at a Methodist hospital attached to a Children’s hospital. Believe me, I recommend being a bitch about your health care, It kept me alive.

        • Being a nagging wife kept my husband alive, so I’m a big believer in that too. But I fully intend to be pushy and bitchy about my healthcare. Thanks for the tip.

  14. grrr..,.stuck in moderation.

  15. The American public has been brainwashed by Republicans, “Big Insurance” and AMA to fear “socialized medicine”. Convincing people to vote against their self interest is a specialty of the Republican Party.

    I have a friend who votes Republican. In the mid-seventies she and her husband were doing graduate work in London. She gave birth to a premature daughter. She has told me many times about the wonderful care her daughter got in the UK, several months in the hospital and follow up by “famous doctors” on Harley Street. It didn’t cost her a penny. I said that is what we need in this country. She was horrified; “I don’t want socialized medicine here!!!” Go figure!!!

    • If “socialized medicine” is so terrible, why aren’t all those socialist democracies demanding a switch to our system?

    • There’s just no rational explanation for that. None. It boggles the mind the bizarre rationalizations people do for their party.

  16. I have relatives and family friends in Canada, and none of them complain about their health coverage. They do buy additional coverage for leaving the country though. They also acknowledge that some people complain about waiting, and I think they had some problems with having enough doctors back in the 1970’s. Overall, they seem generally pleased. (Although, to be honest, they all live in Ontario, and I’m not sure if services are as good in the other provinces.)

    I’m sure there are a few horror stories out there with respect to health care in Canada, but then again we have a number of horror stories with our system as well. Nothing is perfect and mistakes happen.

    Eventually, single payer, with perhaps the option of buying supplemental coverage seems to be the way to go. I’m not sure, however, if now is the right time to tackle the health care issue, in consideration of the financial crisis (and in consideration of who the current players are).

    • Ontario is pretty good, but the population density means it can be hard to get a GP.

  17. Whatever. You’ll get what you deserve if what you want is single payer. You want to call me a troll, fine. I campaigned for and donated money to Hillary, was always suspicious of Obama, and was sickened by the blatant misogny of the campaign which still continues and seems to have become entrenched in our society. I lived in Canada for 32 years and for 16 of those years voted NDP straight ticket. In case you’re not familiar with Canadian politics, the New Democratic Party is a social democratic party (i.e. socialist.) I still do not support single payer. It sucks.

    Most of my relatives live in Manitoba. There is a shortage of family physicians. The waiting lists to see a specialist are appalling. The waiting lists for elective surgery are appalling. There is a shortage of diagnostic equipment. People die in emergency rooms waiting for care. Would you like a list of people I know who have personally suffered because of inadequate care under the Canadian healthcare system? Here’s a small sample:

    The father of a good friend of my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was in his early sixties. He was sent home to die. His family subsequently spent several hundred thousand dollars on treatment at the Mayo Clinic. He lived for more than seven years, with a reasonable quality of life.

    My father fell off a ladder and injured his arm. Two tendons in his arm needed to be reattached. He waited 18 months for the surgery. He was in constant pain.

    My mother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She waited over six months for surgery. She regularly waits several months to see a specialist for follow up care.

    My stepdaughter broke a bone in her ankle. She received inadequate emergency room care, and the bone did not heal. The wait to see an orthopedic surgeon for an initial consultation is over one year. The bone actually healed before she could be seen. There may be lifelong consequences.

    Anecdotal? Of course. Some provinces provide better healthcare than others but it comes down to the will of the government to adequately fund medical care. The sad fact is that the will is almost always lacking, in Canada and in many of the other countries with single payer systems. Such systems inevitably deteriorate. You can’t really know what it is like to live under such a system until you have lived under one.

    Here in the U.S. my family has excellent medical coverage. Canadians can only dream about the quality of care we receive. The goal ought to be for all Americans to have access to the kind of care my family receives, not for Americans to be subject to the pain and frustration too often experienced by Canadians under their own system.

    One more thing. I was raised to sneer at American healthcare. The Canadian media regulary reports on how terrible the American system is. It’s almost like propoganda. I moved here fully expecting the quality of care to be terrible. I’m not surprised that so many Canadians think their healthcare is superior. They’re raised to think that.

    • So you’re saying that Canadians are stupid?

      If things are so much better here then why don’t they change to our system?

      What vested interests are behind the propaganda?

      I won’t call you a troll.

      I’ll just call you a stupid liar.

      BTW – I checked and you never commented here until we started discussing single-payer. Must be a coincidence.

      • Stupid maybe. A liar, no. The Canadians are actually changing their system. Private clinics have opened in Alberta and Quebec and maybe other provinces (I don’t follow it closely, to be honest) because those provinces changed their laws to accommodate them. My father investigated having his arm treated there rather than waiting but couldn’t afford it. He also considered flying to Turkey for the surgery.

        Are Canadians stupid? No more so than Americans or anyone else. The old Canadian joke is “ask a Canadian what apathy means and they’ll answer “I don’t know and I don’t care.” Or as Oscar famously says in Corner Gas “I don’t want to know what I’m talking about.” Canadians by and large are no better informed than Americans, and are about as myopic.

        What vested interests are behind the propaganda? None besides a huge inferiority complex generated by living next to a world power. When I told my family I was moving to the U.S. my uncle asked me if I was worried about getting shot because cable TV in his part of the country originates in Detroit and he watches the Detroit local news. That’s all he knows about the U.S. The Canadian media also loves to talk about gun control and gun crime in the U.S. Please do not get the impression that I am a gun nut. I favor gun control. the point is that Canadians love to compare themselves favorably to the U.S. whenever possible. My uncle loves Canada but he hasn’t ever left the country so he has nothing to compare it with besides what he sees on TV.

        I know a lot about the Canadian system through direct experience. For example, my extended family lives in a rural area, as did I for a time. The local towns are sometimes without a doctor, and struggle to attract a replacement when one leaves. The way they get around this is to hire doctors who cannot immigrate directly to the U.S. They put in their time in rural Canada, get certified and then move on. There is a constant turnover and no continuity of care.

        Some time ago, the government decided that doctors were seeing too many patients (i.e. making too much money) so they limited the number of patients they could see in a day. Suddenly, it became next to impossible to find a primary care physician. No one was accepting new patients, and there were far fewer appointments available if you were lucky enough to have a family doctor. The solution? The emergency room. That led to extreme overcrowding at the ER and the subsequent move to charging a co-pay for non-emergency visits in some provinces. In some provinces you must now pay a co-pay for office visits as well, because someone decided that people were still visiting their doctors too often.

        It’s funny how people just kind of slough off the waiting lists for elective surgery, like it’s no big deal. I would suggest that anyone who thinks it’s ok to wait over a year for elective surgery try and live with detached tendons in their arm for over a year like my father did before they make such ridiculous statements. Anyway, I used to have a modicum of respect for you miq, but your dogmatism in this regard has made me change my opinion of you significantly. In any event, the only reason I am responding to your insulting comment is that I feel very strongly about this issue, and think people deserve all the information.

        I not a proponent of the current U.S. system as it is highly inequitable, but I don’t think a workable solution has presented itself yet. I firmly believe that reaching for single payer is grasping at straws. The system definitely does need reform, but single payer has been tried and failed. So far it’s just the best of a bad lot. We can do better. There are many other things that can be tried.

        • The reason that the government limited the number of patients seen per day was not to restrict the earning potential of doctors, but to ensure that patients received sufficient attention. Please put in even a tiny amount of thought.

          • Usually when I see a doctor I get no more than 5 minutes of face time – the rest is spent with nurses and PA’s.

            And waiting

    • What an utter load of SHIT.

      I lived in Canada until five years ago. For the last five years I have lived in Seattle. Here, I get COMPLIMENTS from medical receptionists on the quality of my insurance. As if that wasn’t appalling enough, the level of care that I receive here is totally comparable to what I receive at home. I wait comparable times in ERs. I wait perhaps two to three days less for a basic doctors appointment (in the case of say, a sore arm or a cold that won’t go away). I wait slightly less time for scheduled tests and surgery, despite the fact that these tests and surgeries are for very low-priority issues and I could comfortably wait much longer. I get good quality care from well trained physicians.

      And I have had a doctor refuse to prescribe contraception. I have had a pharmacy refuse to dispense it. I spend huge amounts of money on health insurance. I spend hours dealing with insurance company bullshit. I’m about to pay out of pocket for an “experimental” procedure despite having the best insurance money can buy. And people are DYING FOR LACK OF HEALTHCARE in this country. The quality of care is totally comparable, and the cost is higher, in all senses of the word.

      STOP LYING.

      • It sounds like your insurance here is crap, and you lived in a province with relatively good care for Canada. If Canadian healthcare is so great, why are they opening private clinics, and why do so many Canadians travel to other countries for care? It’s all relative. Relative to what I had in Canada (and what my family still has) my care here with good insurance is much, much better.

        If you liked it better in Canada, good for you. My hope is that if it comes to single payer here (thankfully quite unlikely at this point) then the realization of it will more closely resemble what you claim to have experienced in Canada than what I and my family experienced.

        • I have the top tier of health insurance Microsoft engineers can get (Premera Blue Cross). So I SERIOUSLY doubt that my insurance here sucks. I lived in Alberta, one of the provinces that has been kicking around privatizing healthcare for at least ten years. Why have they been playing with the idea? Not because there’s anything wrong with the healthcare system- nope, it’s because King Ralph and his descendants are money-grubbing corporate-boot-licking American-conservative wanna-bes.

          Do you have any statistics on how many Canadians travel to other countries for care? On how many of those Canadians are being sent across the border because of care that is unavailable in Canada? Because for someone who is so concerned with efficiency and fact, I find your argument pretty lacking in terms of actual evidence.

          FACT- How many Canadians have been forced into bankruptcy by a medical emergency in the last decade? ZERO.

          FACT- How many Canadians have been denied emergency care for lack of insurance? ZERO.

          FACT- On average, who makes more money? Canadian family doctors or American family doctors? Canadian family doctors (for American doctors, the specialists make obscene amounts of money, and the people doing the day to day medical care are shafted).

          FACT- How many Canadians have reliable access to healthcare? All of them. And studies have shown that not only do Canadians receive a comparable level of care, but they also pay less for it per capita.

          FACT- The U.S. has the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world, and much of that is due to insufficient prenatal/perinatal care for poor women.

          Yep, your insurance must be pretty impressive to compete with reliable high quality care for free. Or maybe your healthcare here is so good because you’re the only one in your area who has insurance and everyone else is staying at home hoping they don’t get sick.

  18. I used to comment under portia9.

  19. I see I (Jackie) am now in moderation. I used to comment as portia9 but don’t use that email account anymore.

    Stupid maybe. A liar, no. The Canadians are actually changing their system. Private clinics have opened in Alberta and Quebec and maybe other provinces (I don’t follow it closely, to be honest) because those provinces changed their laws to accommodate them. My father investigated having his arm treated there rather than waiting but couldn’t afford it. He also considered flying to Turkey for the surgery.

    Are Canadians stupid? No more so than Americans or anyone else. The old Canadian joke is “ask a Canadian what apathy means and they’ll answer “I don’t know and I don’t care.” Or as Oscar famously says in Corner Gas “I don’t want to know what I’m talking about.” Canadians by and large are no better informed than Americans, and are about as myopic as a whole.

    What vested interests are behind the propaganda? None besides a huge inferiority complex generated by living next to a world power. When I told my family I was moving to the U.S. my uncle asked me if I was worried about getting shot because cable TV in his part of the country originates in Detroit and he watches the Detroit local news. That’s all he knows about the U.S. The Canadian media also loves to talk about gun control and gun crime in the U.S. Please do not get the impression that I am a gun nut. I favor gun control. the point is that Canadians love to compare themselves favorably to the U.S. whenever possible. My uncle loves Canada but he hasn’t ever left the country so he has nothing to compare it with besides what he sees on TV.

    I know a lot about the Canadian system through direct experience. For example, my extended family lives in a rural area, as did I for a time. The local towns are sometimes without a doctor, and struggle to attract a replacement when one leaves. The way they get around this is to hire doctors who cannot immigrate directly to the U.S. They put in their time in Canada, get certified and then move on. There is a constant turnover and no continuity of care.

    Some time ago, the government decided that doctors were seeing too many patients (i.e. making too much money) so they limited the number of patients they could see in a day. Suddenly, it became next to impossible to find a primary care physician. No one was accepting new patients, and there were far fewer appointments available if you were lucky enough to have a family doctor. The solution? The emergency room. That led to extreme overcrowding at the ER and the subsequent move to charging a co-pay for non-emergency visits in some provinces. In some provinces you must now pay a co-pay for office visits as well, because someone decided that people were still visiting their doctors too often.

    It’s funny how people just kind of slough off the waiting lists for elective surgery, like it’s no big deal. I would suggest that anyone who thinks it’s ok to wait over a year for elective surgery try and live with detached tendons in their arm for over a year like my father did before they make such ridiculous statements. Anyway, I used to have a modicum of respect for you miq, but your dogmatism in this regard have made me change my opinion of you significantly. In any event, the only reason I am responding to your insulting comment is that I feel very strongly about this issue, and think people deserve all the information.

    I not a proponent of the current U.S. system as it is highly inequitable, but I don’t think a workable solution has presented itself yet. I firmly believe that reaching for single payer is grasping at straws. The system definitely does need reform, but single payer has been tried and failed. So far it’s just the best of a bad lot. We can do better. There are many other things that can be tried.

    • Canada isn’t the only country with single-payer. Are the Europeans suffering from an inferiority complex too?

      I rather doubt it.

      If your uncle gets his television from the US how come he’s still fooled by Canadian propaganda?

      BTW – reattaching tendons is not “elective surgery”

      • Yes, it is elective surgery. Look it up. Or are you saying it’s emergency surgery. Wouldn’t that be even worse? To wait 18 months for emergency surgery?

        I’m not sure what you mean by your first comment. Do you not believe that Canadians delight in pointing out the foibles of their southern neighbors? Have you never watched Canadian television? It’s a defense mechanism because Canada is flooded with American culture to the point that there are Canadian content laws for media. We have to define our Canadianism somehow, and that’s often by trumpeting our differences from Americans.

        If you don’t want to believe me that’s fine, but the fact is that I am Canadian, experienced their healthcare system first hand for many years, and I think it sucks compared to what is available to me here. I admit I am fortunate in that I have excellent insurance. My point is that I want everyone to have as good of care as I have now, not the crappy care I had in Canada.

        • Didja know that tendons don’t have nerve endings? I severed a couple of them before.

          The injury was fairly painless – when the painkillers wore off after the reattachment surgery the healing process was much more painful.

          Stupid or not, the vast majority of Canadians are happy with their health care. Most Americans are not. The statistical date (costs, wait times, mortality rates, etc) disagree with you.

          All you have to to support your position are bugs to be fixed with single-payer, not reasons to keep our current clusterfuck.

          • If they were bugs, single payer systems worldwide would not be slowly evolving into two tier systems with different levels of care for haves and have nots.

            We already have a two-tier system – the “haves” get medical care comparable to Canada and the “have-nots” get far worse.

  20. P-l-e-a-s-e do not believe the stories (and they’re just that) about the horrible effects of CANADIAN healthcare. I have experienced personally and so has my family the wonderfully caring, efficient system in Canada (legislated by a third party/minority gov. alliance in1965) which has resulted in prolonging life by a few years over the American standard and which NEVER is the cause of bankruptcies!

    Yes, sometimes, the waiting period in emergency may be a bit longer than it was a decade ago, but you have the choice of specialists and if you have a good family doctor and get referred to a teaching hospital in a major city like Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver, you will have much better and no-cost care than in the States. I was able to get a ctscan within 2 weeks and most specialists are seen in a matter of days if your family doctor deems it appropriate.
    Also, don’t forget in Canada it’s Preventive Care that gets emphasized tremendously and we’re bombarded with attending at trials for combatting vrious ailments for medical research. A dear friend and mother of 2 teenaged daughters was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 46 and was able to see laparoscopic minimally invasive specialist to perform a very difficult operation. She had truly the besst of care and we were allowed to persuade her doctor to refer her to the best of specialists in the area at a downtown teaching hospital. She is now doing very well and just had her 52nd birthday!
    We are very grateful for the Canadian healthcare system. No wonder the most popular Canadian was voted by the CBC ‘s(national broadcaster) audiences to be Tommy Douglas the minister responsible for this wonderful system back in ’65. Canadians treasure their healthcare and beware the political slimebag who tries to diminish it! He’ll be devoured by the voters!

  21. I just remembered travelling to Ottawa in the mid-90s and sitting next to a young guy who told me he worked for the research team that Hillary Clinton had sent to Canada to study the single-payer healthcare system. He said he was very much interested in learning about it and had made two trips already. Spending half as much (9.8%GNP than the States’ phenomenal 18%) and delivering superior care for its citizens, Canada’s system has proven itself and only the Republican saboteurs can argue with success!)

    The Harry and Louise ads were an effort to sabotage the truly exemplary, pioneering work of Hillary Clinton at a time when the political lords of flies were still in their lethargic free-market stupour! It hurt to see Obama vilifying and sabotaging Hillary’s campaign by distributing the same old ugly and unrepresentative brochures that the repugnants had distributed a generation earlier.
    That was the time that venomous snake McCafferty of CNN called Hillary a “Scolding Mother”–for shouting at Obummer that what he was doing was unethical…ah memories…

  22. memi said: ” No wonder the most popular Canadian was voted by the CBC ’s(national broadcaster) audiences to be Tommy Douglas the minister responsible for this wonderful system back in ‘65.”

    I was just about to post that fact! And Mr. Douglas beat our beloved David Suzuki in that contest. THAT’S how much we love our medical system.

    (You know, something tells me “Jackie/Portia9” was asked to leave Canada.)

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