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The VIEW From YOUR Sickbed ( CANADIAN EDITION )

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Segami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:21 AM
Original message
The VIEW From YOUR Sickbed ( CANADIAN EDITION )
When some things in life are worth taking off the gloves and fighting for BARE-KNUCKLE style. Health care is one of them fights.


The Daily Dish


A reader writes:




" I am a Canadian citizen, moving to the US for work next month and your Sickbed Stories have pretty much got me terrified. I read every one of them and thinkthat probably wouldnt happen in Canada. I am told that the organization that will provide our health insurance in the US has some of the best coverage in the country but as your personal stories prove there are just too many cracks in your system with too many people falling through them. Why not me one day?


Our health care is delivered provincially and so I can only speak for British Columbia but I know the systems are similar across Canada. Basically, each person pays $54 per month for all essential medical services; you pay nothing if you make less than $20,000 a year.


If you have a good health insurance plan through work, it will usually pay your monthly premium and cover you for additional services like eye care, physiotherapy, and psychiatry with annual limits on coverage (e.g. acupuncture treatments up to $600 per year) and subsidized costs on prescription drugs depending on the plan. There may be a small deductible for those extras, but you know beforehand what will be covered and what will not.


For that monthly $54 (and with no additional insurance), I have access to a family doctor whenever I need one, to walk-in clinics where doctors treat individuals on a first-come, first-served basis, and to emergency or standard medical care in hospital. And whether it is a quick diagnosis and prescribed antibiotics for an infected spider bite (me) or radical chemotherapy treatment, months of hospitalization and surgery for life threatening cancer (one of my closest friends) there are no bills for that care.


You simply present your Care Card where you are receiving treatment identifying you as a resident of the province, and you are entitled to whatever care you need as determined by your doctor not the government and not any insurance company. Of course, this care is not free. As Canadian citizens, we all pay for this incredible privilege of universal health care through our taxes, which are slightly higher than in the US. But I think about those MasterCard commercials from a few years back "Piece of mind knowing that you and your family will never be financially ruined by health care bills? Priceless."


There was a long, hard political fight for universal health care in Canada. Man, was it worth it."






<http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/20... >
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Fiendish Thingy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. k&r from a soon to be Canadian resident! n/t
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Segami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Best of luck. I'm sure there are many readers here on DU who are facing a health care crisis in
their lives that would love to be going along with you.
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Lucy Goosey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
2. I'm in a different province, but this describes my experience well...
I have a $7 monthly co-pay for supplemental insurance through my employer that covers dental, psychology, massage therapy, orthotic shoes, etc., as long as those are prescribed by a physician. I also get travel insurance, so I'm covered if I get sick or injured outside of Canada. The company that provides this insurance is a non-profit.

Also, I just don't feel like my taxes are insane. My salary is about $65K, and I take home $1850 every 2 weeks. There's also a sales tax, but it doesn't apply to necessities like food, diapers or public transportation. If I had children, I would be getting a child tax credit - even less of my income would be taxed. Money spent on rent, tuition, transit passes, and many other things is not taxed. Money earned from scholarships and even lotteries is not taxed. It all seems very reasonable to me.

Or maybe I'm just a brainwashed socialist?
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Segami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Sounds healthy, balanced & fair to me.
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bluethruandthru Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Wow...I'm jealous!
My salary is a bit higher and I take home considerably less... probably because a little over $600 a month goes for my health insurance premium. I then have a $900 in network deductible, an $1800 out of network deductible and then the 80/20 kicks in...unless it's for preventative testing (mammogram, colonoscopy, etc)...then, only $250 per YEAR is covered. Don't get me started on prescriptions.... !!! :grr: I want single payer now!
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
5. k/r
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. "Basically, each person pays $54 per month"
"nothing if you make less than $20,000 a year"

Why, oh why can't we achieve this? I'm very happy to see this in The Atlantic. I was expecting the source to be something much more obscure.
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