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cushla_machree Donating Member (419 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:26 PM
Original message
Do Canadians really have to wait in long lines for health care?
I got into a discussion at work the other day with someone. We started talking about health care, and immediately this person told me.

1. Canada has long lines
2. Europeans aren't happy with their system, it costs a lot and doesn't deliver.

Where do people come up with this. How long is the wait in canada????


Americans have been hammered into believing that we have the best health care in the world, but i would only agree if one adds: IF you can afford it. I think it all boils down to the fact that americans are inherently selfish in some respects. Then general feeling in the room was, I have never had a problem with my health plan. Therefore, nothing is amiss.

What will it take to pull the wool off of people's eyes? Because your plan is 'excellent' who cares about everyone else? DO you really think your insurance company won't fuck you over at some point down the line? What does this boil down to, that people accept that status quo because, changing the system would AFFECT them in some way? Maybe they would have to schedule their physical 5 months in advance instead of 2. THE HORROR! Maybe they might see a tax on their income.

But what never is discussed: You already are paying for your health care, even if you get it through work. Your salary might increase if your company no longer has to pay for ever increasing premiums created by the private insurance companies. You would no long have to pay co-pays and deductibles. A single universal system would be more efficient, it would GIVE ALL AMERICANS coverage.

Are we all self absorbed so much that we would rather keep a broken system then create a new one that everyone can use? Or is it just general mistrust of the government, and believing that they could never deliver year after year?
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. Michael Moore showed us the truth.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. I live in Northern Minnesota and the people I know who have been
part of the Canadian Health Care System have nothing but praise for how it works. It is kind of like the argument we are having over Social Security: Depends on which side you are listening to. The corporations and pugs have spent years spreading the lies and it is no wonder that ordinary citizens do not know what is really happening.
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. Ditto. I just moved to northern Michigan 3 blocks from the river that separates us.
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. Look at the results. When Canadians get old, then tend to move back to Canada.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
37. ...to be euthanized and eaten
Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 08:03 PM by jberryhill
You never hear from them after they go back to Canada, now do you?

Although if they look too healthy for the slaughterhouse, they are kept around to artificially inflate the life expectancy statistics.

And then they are fed to sick people, because Canadiacs drink the blood of old people as a substitute for vaccines.

They stand in long lines for that, too.
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PSPS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
4. Don't believe the propaganda
I've lived in Europe and I have both European and Canadian friends with whom I stay in touch. The "long lines" thing is a myth. You'll sometimes have to wait for elective or cosmetic surgery, but that's about it. It isn't perfect, but no European or Canadian would give it up either (unless they're a wealthy neo-con clone like Harper.)

Public surveys in Europe and Canada consistently find about 90% approval rating for their health care systems.

The private insurance racket remains only in the US, and they'll fight tooth and nail to fool you with lies and propaganda. They know that once we have national single-payer, we'll never give it up. They'd never give it up in Europe, Canada or anywhere else it exists. Oh, yeah. That's right. It already does exist in every other country!
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Exactly - the "lines" are something the right wing has thought up
It seems logical to them that it would end up that way. Their belief in the free market is such that they do not want to believe that anything "socialistic" would ever work, so they make up this stuff that it would be an inferior "product," because the market would not drive it.

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
20.  And heaven knows..no one EVER waits in line here
Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 06:07 PM by SoCalDem
to buy a new phone

or to see a concert

or to be first in line at a grand opening of a new walmart

or to buy Xmas wrap at half-price

:eyes:

on Jan 17, my doctor gave me an appointment for a colonoscopy (ugh!)..JULY 20-something..

All it would take to sway most of Americans would be a truthful comparison of families ..

A Canadian family of 4 vs a US family of 4..
each with someone in the family with a chronic illness

Same occupations, same income..same lifestyle..and just lay out the bills and compare who's in better shape physically and financially..

All the lah-di-dah politispeak and gobbledygook spin only obfuscates the truth

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cushla_machree Donating Member (419 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. right and anyone who uses the line excuse
Automatic asshole in my book. So, basically in their minds, they would rather deny people health insurance so they don't have to 'wait.'
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Canadiana Donating Member (182 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. No
Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 05:41 PM by Canadiana
Well, it depends on the procedure, where you are in Canada etc.
Things that take a while here: non-urget...MRIs, colonoscopies, some surgeries (mostly orthopedics such as knee and joint surgeries)

Things that do not take a long time: seeing a doctor. You have one of several options in most towns. You can:
a) see your doctor. If it is something urgent, he or she will likely fit you in that day or the next.
b) go to an after hours clinic. If you cannot see your gp, or you do not have a gp, you can go to after hours clnics that are open in the weekday evenings and on weekend. All you do is show your health card (every candaian citizen has one from their repsective province) and you WILL be seen by the doctor(s) who are working there. I went to one of these with a friend last weekened and she was seen in 15 minutes.
c) go to the ER. Someitmes the wait can be long - up to a few hours. If it is urgent (chest pains, stroke) they will see you immediately. I went to the ER once though, and only had to wait about 20 minutes so it is obvously variable.

Sidenote: the whole idea that because it is a public system we have to wait longer in the ER is not valid. Since there are so many people who are uninsured in the USA and thus do not go see the doctor on a regular basis or have access to preventative medicine, does that not create PACKED ERs in the US? Not only will people simply have more emergency health problems because they never see a doctor, some people will go to the ER to get treated for things that could be treated by normal doctor visits. Because these folks don't have coverage, they MUST go to the ER to be treated.
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lurky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. Canadian health care wasn't always public.
Does anyone know how the transition from private to public was done? Were hospitals nationalized? What happened to insurance companies? Did a lot of people lose their jobs? I'm just curious about what the transition would look like if single payer were to happen here.

Thanks!
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pretzel4gore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. the doctors fought it
that was in the early 60's...nationwide, the docs led the campaign against it, but simple logic defeated them "why should anyone profit from your child's sickness?'...once the horse got loose, people reasoned the system out, and it just made sense- the single payer negotiates from power, cost etc are just accounting entries, the health pros/providers make a reasonable return for their work, the drug makers get paid reasonable (there's no hocus pocus, after all. the cost of something is easily calculated) and a vast bureaucracy eliminated tracking nickles and dimes. a single payer system obviously works to benefit everyone. Yet it was a tremendous battle against the twittery, who've never let up criticising the system. As far as hospitals etc, they were almost always public anyway, like the schools or firehalls etc, unless they were church built. one thing for sure, it took some very crafty pols like Tommy Douglas (Donald Sutherland's FILaw) and alot of luck, plus a genuine positive national liberality to get it through-Quebec also played a role in the RC Church wanting out of maintaining hospitals while the Quebecers were turning away from the church.
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lurky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Interesting. Thanks for responding!
We have this huge commercial health industry that has gotten very entrenched and powerful in the last 40 years. Single payer is a direct threat to their existence, and they will fight to the death to stop it.

It's my impression that the doctors down here generally favor single payer. It's the insurers, drug makers and hospital chains who are using their money and influence to fight it.

Like most of our problems, I don't think this will be solved until money and corruption are removed from US politics. Until then, any politician who is brave enough to push for this will be buried, barring a total health system collapse. :(
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cushla_machree Donating Member (419 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
22. I had to wait an hour at the ER once
I needed stitches....they just gave me a bandage to hold. It was 10 at night and the place was packed.
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lurky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #22
30. I had to wait a couple hours for stitches once.
Triage is a bitch. It was a Friday night -- I should have scheduled my injury for a less busy time, I guess. ;)

It's hard to get too upset when people are coming in with heart-attacks and head injuries, though.
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ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
7. Sometimes, but ANYBODY, even those on Welfare, will get treated.
Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 05:50 PM by ConcernedCanuk
.
.
.

I am in the unfortunate position of not having a family doctor, which is not unusual up here.

So for things like muscle aches, tension, or other minor maladies I have to go to Emergency - it is a normal function for Emergency to take in people for non-emergency medical care.

However, if you are going in for migraine headaches, and there are people there with cuts, wounds, or severe depression issues, they will get seen before I do as we have a "triage" system, where people's ailments are prioritized.

Obviously someone with a finger half dangling off their hand will get treated before someone with migraine headaches.

BUT - we will all get taken care of. At no cost.

Scheduling for different tests and operations can take time, but all real EMERGENCY ailments are dealt with immediately.

Even in this small town of 2500 we have access to major hospitals close by, with numerous land ambulances as well as a heliport(for helicopters) to take us to a specialty hospital if need be.

Again, this is all available to even the poorest of Canadians, at no cost.

Our taxes pay for it - and many studies, polls, etc., have been done up here, and we would rather pay a bit more in taxes, and keep our Health Care free.

Yes, there may be a bit of a wait, but nothing outrageous.

Half an hour to 2 hours would be normal on a busy day - sometimes we get in right away.

It's worth it.
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Canadiana Donating Member (182 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. Yes in a very small town you would have to go to the ER
if you dont have a gp, which is unfortunate. A lack of doctors is one of the biggest problems in Canada - not enough med school spots or residency spots for usre. However, in most moderate sized cities like the one I live in (about 150,000 people) there are after-hours clinics and family health centers where you can get treated for non-emergency health problems.

But as you said, you don't even have to THINK about paying for health care here...its just not on the radar. If you are unlucky enough to get lukemia and have to go through a million dollar, 2 year treatment...you dont have to pay for it.
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Dawggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. In the states, you are lucky to wait less than three hours
in a hospital waiting room.
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allalone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #18
43. no kidding, what are crowded waiting rooms
beside sitting lines? and then they take you in back and leave you there to
the point where you are just going to get up and leave.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
8. Those talking points are still around from the last time in 1993 and they haven't changed?
Ask any of our Canadian DUers here and they will tell you differently how their system works. Also go to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) at this link and they answer all those BS Harry and Louise RW lies with facts.

http://www.pnhp.org
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cushla_machree Donating Member (419 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. Sadly those lines are still used
I couldn't believe it...every time she gave me one of those lines, i would ask her WHO says that? How do you know they wait in lines? What Europeans don't like their health care systems? I totally tongue tied her. The sad thing is, i am sure she will keep on saying those lines, because she won't take the time to actually learn about the issue, because ' well i am happy with my health care plan."
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #23
38. So print out some articles from that link I gave you that
Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 08:09 PM by Cleita
debunk her arguments. She may just read them or at least know to shut up about her points because they are invalid.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
9. Send them to Sicko.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Yes. Sicko addresses this in depth by following everyday
Canadians around to their doctors visits, clinics and hospitals.
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LoveleeRita Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
10. well if it's shorter than my uncle's wait, I'd take it
he had bypass surgery about 10 days ago on a Thursday. Sunday at 2 a.m. he began having pain and fluttering in chest. Xray showed chest tube appeared broken at end and moving in chest. Dr on call showed up at 3:30 p.m. after being called 3 times.

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apocalypsehow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
13. I believe that if the Canadians were
unhappy with their system, they would vote to change it. From what I understand, they've had their health care system for some time now. I wouldn't presume to speak for them, of course.
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ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. Presumption not necessary, we are happy AND proud of our Health Care system.
.
.
.

In simple Canadian speak:

The USA's system SUCKS!
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
14. In the cold...
Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 05:57 PM by jberryhill
Canadians are just dropping dead like flies. At night, the sick and dead Canadians are swept off of the streets, still standing in the lines waiting for the clinic to open.

That's why they live short miserable brutish lives, just like all of those European countries where they eat sick old people.

Don't believe those life expectancy statistics. Because everyone everywhere but the US is just barely scraping by, then they don't get heart disease from being overweight, and they all ride public transportation and don't ride in cars because they tax gas too much, so there are fewer traffic fatalities.

In Canada, they don't really have health care, they just leave the sick out in the cold to die. Same thing in Norway and Switzerland.

Oh, and don't even THINK of going outside of the US to see for yourself. Homeland Security will pepper you with questions when you try to get back in, because anyone who thinks there is something worth actually going to another country for is probably some kind of subversive danger to this country.

And for this, everyone outside of the US is taxed into poverty. There are no wealthy people anywhere but in the US.
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pretzel4gore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #14
31. what's great about america is how poor black children
who have no insurance are put AHEAD of the busy rich executives, by do gooders at the hospitals! it's one of history's most astonishing facts- if an american is sick, esp. if they're young innocent and penniless, they get BUMPED AHEAd of the wallet bulging gucci wearing suburbanites who, after all, are only rich thanks to the wonderful Lord, who commands them 'Do unto others as you would have done unto you' and 'those who are last shall be FIRST, and the first LAST!' etc...
The american system works ONLY bercause Jesus rewards sacrifice, which the wealthy american eagerly makeS!
It's treasure in heaven

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ironflange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #14
34. You're right, here's a common sight here in Canada:


Wait! I hear them coming now! Good thing, too, I'm tired of tripping over all those disgusting corpses.



Bring out your dead!
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Ishoutandscream2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #34
40. LOL!!
You poor, poor, Canadians.
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Ishoutandscream2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
39. Yes, I heard their toilet paper is very rough on the ass
and you even have to wait in line for that!
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allalone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
44. I hate that. every time I go, dead Canadians all over the place
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
17. I know several people who've had knee surgery
They're in my water aerobics group, since water aerobics is a recommended form of exercise for people who have joint problems.

Every last one of them had to schedule their surgery months in advance here in Minneapolis. We're within a day's drive of Canada, but we aren't in Canada.

When I was in the UK, people told me about being seen readily and getting treatments for things such as cancer in a timely manner. Their one complaint was that Margaret Thatcher tried to kill off the National Health Service by privatizing some of its non-medical functions. Since the cleaners and food service workers now answer to private contractors, not to the hospital, the quality has gone down. Evidently this was not a problem before these functions were privatized.

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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. crummier food? privatized only care about cutting costs to increase profit. nt
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tuvor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
24. Check this thread from the Canada forum.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
27. I heard that the doctors in canada see you even before you are sick
you don't wait at all. The minute you see a doctor at your door beware! You are about to come down with a cold.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
28.  This old chestnut again
Listen, if I walk into any doctor's office or hospital emergency room with a serious meddical problem, I KNOW I'll be taken care of according to my medical severity. GUARANTEED. WITHOUT REGARD TO MY ABILITY TO PAY.

And even if I'm NOT, I've NEVER had to wait more than two hours. And that goes for any OTHER Canadian as well, in my experience.

Does that answer your question?

Sorry, but I'm always steamed when I see that statement.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
32. Just tell them what Hubby tells the docs he works with:
In his first year of residency, the chief resident and his wife (also a resident) were from Canada. They'd come over for training, in part, because they'd heard how much better our system was. They both ran back to Canada. They were horrified at what they saw in residency here, and that was at a community-based residency program here in Michigan where hospitals have to be non-profit and don't turn people away.

Also, look at the results (right-wingers like results, right?): we have lower life-expectancy, higher maternal death rate (in some areas of the US, it's the same as parts of Africa), higher fetal death rate, higher rates of cancer and heart disease, and pay more out of the GDP for it.

It makes them think. ;)
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. You know theanswer to those stats from the right, yes?

That lower life expectancy and maternal death rate are coupled stats, since infant births lower the average by a lot.

And... it's because of all of those teenagers getting pregnant to take advantage of welfare.

So, yeah, we need to get rid of food stamps and other programs, in order to improve life expectancy, so that we can then show that we'd have a better health care system if all of those poor people would quit ripping us off.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
33. The next time someone tells you about the bad health care in Canada and Europe, say
"Well, I don't see hordes of boat people from Sweden coming to the U.S. for our health care."

I said that to my Repub. brother in law and he refused to even speak to me!

It will shut them up. Try it!
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
35. It's the insurance companies not the healthcare system.
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MadAnne Donating Member (208 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
41. A lot of Americans don't have a line, long or short. n/t
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allalone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
42. in USA, I have to wait 6 to 8 weeks to get
an appt with my doctor, so waiting in line doesn't sound that bad.
if you get really sick , she says go to ER. gee where it costs 400 bux to walk in the door.
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