American Health Care Not a Good Model For Canada

Steve Drinkwater, a Vancouverite who is living in Texas, weighed in recently with an observation about the troubled US health care system. He noted that Michael Moore isn't the only one who thinks its a bit sicko.

I wrote Steve back with the following:

It's so hard for me to hear Canadians who really believe the health care system is better in America. And I do hear it. When I lived in NYC, I paid $1,000 a month for insurance for myself, my partner, and my son.

Even with such high payments, I spent hours navigating my insurer's voice mail system and then, if I was persistent enough, talking on the phone with insurance representatives to insist they live up to the coverage the plan purported to offer. Now I have two children and I hate to think what the cost would be.

Anything that has gone wrong for us in our six years in Canada has been handled beautifully and efficiently by well-trained doctors, and at almost no cost. That has included many visits to the emergency room for my extremely active sons. Everything has been great. The waits have been long, but no longer than what I experienced in the emergency rooms of America. In my Canadian experience, medical crisis hasn't been accompanied by the crisis of huge bills and staff people trained to thwart customer claims.

It seems like a no brainer, but in fact, it looks like Canadians are going to have to inform themselves, and demand to keep the healthy system they've got.


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