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Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:11 PM

An Open Letter: Health Care can be Low Cost

Percy von Lipinski is a prolific CNN iReporter from Canada. He has posted several stories on his travels around the world. One of his biggest surprises has always been the lack of efficient and inexpensive medical care in the country below, the United States of America.

With the continuing attacks on the Affordable Care Act, he felt compelled to simply give a Canadian’s point of view, again. He included one of his bills along with a description of his sisters personal experience with medical care which would have bankrupted most Americans.

When Peter was asked to give a short synopsis of the Canadian system he said every American should know the following:

Our system is about 50 years old now. Starting a system from scratch in America today is infinitely more complicated. We are proof that it can work and it can be a "net" benefit to the vast majority. Remember this important fact: it is not against any laws for a Dr. here to charge whatever they want. It's not like the billing police are out there. For that matter if you’re not happy with your existing doctor, you can change or you can even fly to the Mayo clinic if you so choose. Interestingly, we are able to buy US health insurance so that we can go to US clinics if we like. For some reason we only pay about 10% of what you would pay for that same US coverage. Most Canadians cross the border with US medical coverage at about $15 per week while they are there.

Percy von Lipinski wrote the following open letter to Americans to be placed in the public domain. More Canadians should have spoken up during the Obamacare debate where their system was falsely maligned. Had more Canadians with similar Lipinski experiences spoken up (a personally near fatal medical illness and a wife that is a practicing doctor), many Americans who believe everything the Plutocracy tells them would have had enough information to prevent their “miseducation”.

The article “Obamacare At Minimum, Single Payer Preferably Must Be Inferred By 60 Minutes Story (VIDEO)” is a must see on health care.

Percy von Lipinski

Most of us have seen all the annoying spam for discounted prescriptions in Canada. As with all good tales there's a touch of reality in the story. Discounted prescriptions are just a part of it though because it's likely that before you go visit the pharmacy you'll likely need to see a Doctor or even visit a clinic or hospital. Indeed as I reported at CNN a few years ago I was hospitalized in critical care for about 3 weeks with literally hundreds of tests to determine that I had Necrotizing fasciitis or Flesh Eating disease. Although I survived the ordeal, I am very aware that had this happened to me in the USA I may bot have survived the financial disaster that would have followed me upon discharge.

We are not smug Canadians snickering at our neighbours and best friends. We are a nation of people that have a great deal of difficulty understanding how the economically largest and most powerful country in the world can let this happen to her people.

Health care in Canada is not a privilege it's a right embedded tight there in our Charter of Rights. Some provinces charge a fee up to a maximum of $35 per month per person but most of Canada pays no direct fee. Obviously our system has flaws. We hear some Americans say that our health care system is broken. Really? Why is it that we spend much less per person in medical care yet our life expectancy is greater here?

My sister had a son that died of Cancer a few years ago. She had lived in Germany for many years and came back to Canada to raise her son when he became ill. She never worked at all for 9 years while he was being treated. As we do not pay directly for care we could not accurately assess the cost but it was certainly well over a million dollars. The only charges she had any trouble with were parking charges at the hospital. They ended up evening dropping those. It did not matter that she was poor or rich this was not at all a factor, which is exactly as it should be. All Canadians would agree.

Our system in Canada is still evolving. As we age changes are sure to be made but one thing remains absolutely certain, not one person in Canada left, right, communist, capitalist, liberal, conservative is prepared to let our health care system.

I challenge every American to visualize a future where you do not "ever" think about the cost of your or your family's health care. Imagine actually taking or leaving a job for something other than health care.

You may think Doctors here get a lousy deal out of all this. I just happen to be married to one and I can tell you that Doctors here are not hurting. They are all self employed and bill anybody they want for their services, including the local government if that be the case.

Included is a typical bill for monthly health care coverage on my province for a family of 4. There is no deductible.

Percy von Lipinski

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