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sixstrings75 Donating Member (173 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:21 PM
Original message
The Canadian Healthcare system and my Dad.
Hello all,

Been lurking for a LONG time. Since 2003. Finally got the nerve to register and contribute what little I can

Due to the confusion and inconsistencies I have seen (especially lately) concerning the Canadian Healthcare system, I feel I must convey the incidents of the last year with everyone

My Father was a healthy man. Mid sixties, about 30-40 lbs overweight but in general overall good health. Non-smoker (except the odd stogie), recreational drinker. In December 2008 he went in for his annual physical and was given a clean bill of health. In fact the doctor said he was extremely healthy everything was good.

Fast forward to February 2009one week-end we noticed his eyes and the area around his eyes was turning yellow. The coming Monday my mother took him to the emergency room as it gradually worsened over the next day or so. Dad was taken in immediately no waiting whatsoever. They quickly determined he had a blockage in his lower intestine that was affecting his liver he was turning jaundiced and his blood was slowly poisoning him. This quickly turned into a serious situation.

He was immediately given an appointment to see a specialist in London, ON. two days later, the Wednesday. They did a scope and determined that there was a blockage coming from the head of his Pancreas no need to say anything further we all knew what that meant

The initial diagnosis was pancreatic cancer he had approx. 2-3 months to live. Needless to say, this was quite a shock considering the results from his recent physical and just the fact that he has always been very healthy. The cancer was likely going to spread to his liver, lungs, etc and the prognosis was terminal. The doctors stressed this was just an initial diagnosis and more tests would be done to see if anything could be done, i.e. surgery, chemo, etc.

This is when a certain Surgeon entered our lives, and literally saved my fathers life. He decided that there was only one option: a surgery called the Whipple Procedure. Basically this is one of the harshest surgerys, save for an organ transplant, the body can handle. Per Wikipedia:

It consists of removal of the distal half of the stomach (antrectomy), the gall bladder (cholecystectomy), the distal portion of the common bile duct (choledochectomy), the head of the pancreas, duodenum, proximal jejunum, and regional lymph nodes. Reconstruction consists of attaching the pancreas to the jejunum (pancreaticojejunostomy) and attaching the common bile duct to the jejunum (choledochojejunostomy) to allow digestive juices and bile to flow into the gastrointestinal tract and attaching the stomach to the jejunum (gastrojejunostomy) to allow food to pass through.

Yeah we couldnt believe an operation like this was possible eitherit is an 8.5 hour surgery.

Fast forward 3 weeks. This was the earliest they could do the operation due to the fact that dad needed to prepare his body, get stronger and flush a lot of toxins out. They took him at the first available spot they could. He went in on a Monday morning, 7:00am with the operation scheduled to begin at 8:00am. The surgeon came to us before he began and stated the following, this is an 8-9 hour surgery. If you see me before 6 hours is up, its bad news. Either he expired or we found too much cancer and it would not be feasible to operate. I was astounded by honesty and compassion. He stated he HAD to tell us this so we knew all the risks associated. This was an amazing man and I felt lucky dad had him doing the operation.

After staring at the clock for 6 hours, you could feel the anxiety lift as the clock slowly turned past 2:00pm then 3:00pm and then finally around 5:00pm, the good surgeon came out and gave us the good news. He got all the cancer and the operation was a complete success. Unbelievably, we were able to see dad that night around 8:00pm when he woke up in surprisingly good spirits. We were not out of the woods yet though

He had numerous internal stitches that needed to heal. He had an incision from his hips to his chest that took 52 staples to close. The next few days were critical. He was put in a semi-private room called a step down room. This is where they send patients who just went thru something as major as this procedure, with the purpose of round the clock observation. For the first 2 days, the nurses NEVER left his side. He constantly had a nurse at his bedside, taking care of his every need and whim. That blew me away. The care and concern these nurses showed was unbelievable. I consider them to be lifesavers as well. Also the good surgeon checked on him many times per day and even the day of the operation he came and checked on him at 10:30pm that night. Think about that he had to be up before 6:00am to get ready worked on dad from 8:00am to 4:30pm and still was at the hospital at 10:30pm to check on my dad. This was an amazing man.

Were going on 3 weeks post-op. Dad came home 11 days after the surgery with 15 days being the avg, stay. He is starting to gain weight and his colour has returned. As an atheist, I hate the word, miracle but I have no problem stating that the surgeon and nurse who looked after my dad were and are miracle workers. They can never be compensated or thanked enough for what they did for our family. These are the true heroes in society.

How much did this cost my family? $113.00. And that was to rent a TV for dads room for a week. That is it. What would this have cost in the US? Being as my parents are of meager means, it was an absolute lifesaver that they did not need to worry about being financially ruined over this. Heres a kicker as wellall the trips my parents and I had to make to go the hospital for appointments, etc. is tax deductibleSo we will see most of that TV rental money back anyway. You gotta love it.

In closing this is just one story that illustrates what I believe to be the average experience that us lucky Canadians are privileged enough to enjoy with our Healthcare system. Is it perfect? No, it is not. I would like to see more preventative procedures being free, such as routine eye appointments, but that was just recently taken away by our provincial govt I can see that coming back in the future. And yes, before the freepers start to chime in, it isnt technically free as we pay very high taxes, but Id rather see that money go to healthcare than world domination and endless oil wars.

Canadians are known as passive and very docile and the perception exists that we will just roll over and take whatever is pushed on us. But I know one thing for sure take away our healthcare system or try to americanize it and you will see blood pouring in the streets. Revolution. This is one issue I believe all Canadians can agree on. It is a fundamental human right to have access to the best healthcare possible how anyone can see it different than this is mind-boggling.

Sorry for the long post just want to get this off my chest.

Thanks
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rwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. Great story.
Thanks for sharing and welcome to DU. Also would be good story for Keith or Rachael.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks for sharing your story.
It's a nice change from the bogus stories we keep hearing from the anti-health-care crowd! I hope your father continues to do well.
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. "What would this have cost in the US?" Somewhere between nothing and everything you have.
If you have nothing, it would cost you nothing. If you have no health insurance, it would cost you everything you have. If you do have health insurance or Medicare, then it would probably have cost somewhere between $2500 and $14,000 assuming the operation and hospital stay was only up to $70,000. Since I have run up a $150,000 bill in a four surgery one month visit to a hospital 15 years ago, then it's not unimaginable that the patient portion for this could exceed that $14,000 I stated.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. And we wonder why we have more problems with bankruptcies than Canadians do!
Edited on Thu May-28-09 02:08 PM by cascadiance
Great story, and glad to hear good news related to illustrate a good point to fix our health system, rather than bad news that we've been used to having to hear to challenge our government to do what's right (torture issues, our own health care mess, etc.)
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live love laugh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #3
113. I don't think the US healthcare system woul d have performed this surgery.
Not for the common people anyway. Maybe the elite who can pay anything would live but us proles would be goners.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #113
121. a famous DUer had to go out of his state to get whipple
and we DUers and others paid for that surgery.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
4. And everyone claims the Canadian system is a bad system
Sounds like you had a relatively positive experience.

Thanks for sharing.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. The Canadian system is merely a paying mechanism
As long as you fund it properly, you will always have enough money to pay for services rendered and not hamper the health care market.

As a bonus, all people are covered and necessary procedures are paid for, no exemptions.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. As a person covered by our national health care system
in Australia, I have to agree with everything you said. Ours was introduced by the towering (but flawed) left wing Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam in 1975. Subsequent conservative governments DARED NOT try to dismantle it. It would mean instant political death.

Welcome, sixstrings, glad your dad came through the operation.

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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Howard has a go at it, though through private care
which is something Canadians refuse to allow on their basic benefits package.
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Kablooie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 05:59 AM
Response to Reply #5
99. Here, even if you have insurance, you have to go home to recuperate. Hospitals are too expensive.
Edited on Fri May-29-09 06:02 AM by Kablooie
Insurance only covers a minimum of time in a hospital.

And of course if you get REALLY sick the insurance can be cancelled because you don't qualify any more because of pre existing conditions.

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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. May I post a link to your story on my company's web site?
http://www.portableservice.com

I'm in charge of posting health-related stories every day.

:headbang:
rocktivity
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sixstrings75 Donating Member (173 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Sure. Go ahead. Thanks n/t.
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #7
134. The deed is done.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. "how anyone can see it different than this is mind-boggling." Agreed.
Welcome to DU.

I'm glad to hear your dad is doing fine.

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ejpoeta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
9. in my opinion, had you been in the US... your father would not be here right now
and it would have cost you a lot more than $113. but then again.... my dad had been sick on and off for a couple of years. we'd take him to the hospital and they'd say it was something minor and send him home. in march, after my brother found him in his home looking like he was sick, he brought him to his (my brother's) house and kept him there for a couple weeks. figured it was overmedicating or forgetting meds. he got him one of those pill things and put the pills in there to ensure proper dosing. but my father, besides seeing double was having trouble walking without assistance. my dad has NEVEr had problems with taking care of himself or walking or anything. They thought maybe he had had a stroke and brought him to the hospital. They ended up doing MRI etc... and found he had cancer. everywhere. so bad that there wasn't anything they could do. they gave him three months. he was gone in less than two weeks.

he was in a regular room where he was basically one of god knows how many with one or two nurses taking care of all of them. one night the nurse found him almost gone. he ended up in the ICU, where he received top notch care. the insurance company had sent a letter to my dad, who was n the hospital, saying he had to fill out a form and return within five days. it had questions about if his accident was someone else's fault or happened at work. we were afraid if someone didn't fill it out and return it his insurance would not cover the bill. but again, my brother had gone over and checked the mail at my dad's and gotten it. my dad couldn't even sign a power of attorney my sister had drawn up much less fill out that form. he was hallucinating at that point and had few lucid moments. we moved him to a hospice room where he ended up dying.

if you were in the US, your father would probably not be here. not that it was anyone's fault, mind you. the doctor said my dad's cancer was so aggressive he could have had it for a matter of months. my brother blames the VA, but my dad went to a private hospital several times and a private doctor. But the letters from the insurance company were quite disconcerting to us as we sat in the ICU waiting room pondering what to do about them. one of my sisters who my dad had put as a health proxy filled it out and sent it back.
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unapatriciated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
81. those letters are standard procedure with Insurance Companies...
It is one of the many ways they have of denying or delaying payment for medical care. I spent years filling out those forms when my son was diagnosed with dermatomyositis in 1991.
I'm lucky my son is still with us. All the delays in treatment did leave him disabled. Another little trick they have is what they call a "review", that's when they take back monies already paid
leaving you with a huge bill.
I have been waiting letters since 1991 to Congress, Senate, Clinton, bush and now Obama advocating single payor.
The worst responce I recieved was from Congressman Dryer, (I lived in Ca until 2006) he thanked me for my concern about gun control.
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ejpoeta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 06:11 AM
Response to Reply #81
101. they can try that all they want. my father can't pay them anything. and he didn't leave anything
either. what he did live is about enough to cover the funeral. and if we are lucky a headstone for him and my mother and sister. the calls from american express or whoever.... they can go to hell. it took about two weeks for the collection calls to start.... my sister sent them a letter telling them he is deceased and there is no money and no estate and no exectutor of any estate. what a hassle! what we had to go through to get to his bank accounts! oh well. i'm sure he's having a great laugh up there right now at it all. i'm glad that at least your son is still around. yeah, we have 'choice'. right. to be hassled by an insurance compnay that had no questions about taking our money. too bad too many people aren't going to wake up and see how assinine this whole system is. it makes me sad, frankly. we let the insurance companies tell us what to do and what kind of system 'we' need. i just don't get it.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
10. We love you guys! I only wish that Canada would allow US citizens to retire there if they can prove
they have adequate income.
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Monk06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #10
94. You can if you have a relative in Canada to sponsor you

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/122013....

The Government of Canada provides an excellent website which will
answer most questions:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC):
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.html

To immigrate to Canada, you need to fall into one of these groups:

1. Skilled Worker Class Immigration
2. Business Class Immigration
3. Family Class Immigration
4. International Adoption
5. Provincial Nomination
6. Quebec-Selected Immigration

Since you will be retired, that leaves you with one option, number 3.
Do you have any relatives in British Columbia who can sponsor you?
Even though you have enough money to support yourself, you will still
need to be sponsored by a relative.

"If you wish to become a permanent resident of Canada, your relative
or family member in Canada must first apply to sponsor you."
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/sponsor/index.html

There are many advantages to becoming a permanent resident, as you
would have most of the rights that Canadian citizens have under the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (except run for political
office or vote) and that includes Canada's health care system. You can
apply for Canadian Citizenship after three years, but it is not
mandatory, and, it is not necessary to give up your US citizenship -
you will find many people who have "dual-citizenship", enjoying the
best of both worlds.

"The Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) is a new, wallet-sized, plastic
card. People who have completed the Canadian immigration process and
have obtained permanent resident status, but are not Canadian citizens
can apply for the Card."
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pr-card/index.html

So, to summarize, if you'd like to immigrate to Canada, the first step
is to find a relative who is willing to sponsor you as a member of the
"Family Class". The relative can be a son or daughter, brother or
sister, nephews or nieces, grandsons or granddaughters (if orphaned,
under 18 and unmarried) and aunt or uncle if unmarried.
You will find a Guide and Applications here:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/applications/family.html

However, you do not need to immigrate to live in Canada. It is not
unusual for American citizens to own property in Canada and spend a
good part of the year there. The best thing to do would be to go to
both the Canadian and American Consulates nearest you and get
up-to-date information tailored to your situation (you might need to
apply for a Visa for stays of more than 180 days).

One of the main considerations is health care and if you aren't able
to immigrate than you will have to carry your own health insurance to
cover any medical costs. If you have US$750,000 (you're a millionaire
in Canadian funds!) plus a pension and Social Security, you should be
able to live comfortably (although Vancouver is one of the more
expensive places to live in Canada).


Additional Links:

An American's Guide to Canada:
http://www.icomm.ca/emily/american.html

IRS: FAQ:
http://www.irs.gov/faqs/page/0,,id=15934,00.html

Tips for Travelers to Canada:
http://travel.state.gov/tips_canada.html

If you would like more information or if you are not satisfied with
what I have provided, please let me know before rating this answer,
and I will be happy to respond to your request. In that case, please
include a bit more of your circumstances - most importantly, are you
planning on applying for immigration? It's hard for me to go any
further without having more details on hand.
On a personal note, if I don't hear from you again, I would like to
wish you well in your new home. You'll grow to love Canada, its
quirkiness and all.

Sincerely,
hummer
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #10
128. You can retire to Canada.
Come and spend money. Just leave your attitude and handguns at home.
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gulfcoastliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
13. Huge K&R! nt
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
14. I just used the Canadian health care system today!
My 3 year old gets massive asthmatic attacks (life threatening) when she gets sick. I pulled right into a clinic (no appointment) and in *minutes* the doctor made room and was administering treatment on her, despite the vomit she left him. In minutes she was better. He gave (literally) me some equipment & prescription and sent me on my way. It feels strange to walk out of a Doctor's office without first visiting the billing station.

Clearly your situation was a bit more dire. Im so glad to hear things worked well for your Dad. More people need to hear about this.
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sutz12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
15. Thank you for your story and best wishes for your Dad...
I saw my first "Canadian socialized medicine sucks" ad yesterday. I expect more. :puke:

I wish that stories like yours could get the press that the big guys can afford to buy.

I guess I am most upset about what the ads are saying about the medical providers, the nurses and doctors, most of whom would love to operate like the ones that took care of your Dad, but are not allowed to by corporate bureaucrats.
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
16. Thanks, sixstrings75, for your OP!
Welcome to DU from a fellow Canadian. I am very glad your dad is doing well! My and my family's experience with the Canadian Healthcare system mirrors yours and I am very grateful we have it!
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
17. Wonderful story! And it is great that your Dad is healing.
Please send your story in to http://www.healthreform.gov / and tell them you want the same coverage for your American friends!

Here is an American health care story as a contrast:

My BIL had been having health problems for years but his insurance company did not want to authorize all the tests the doctors said might be able to pin down the disease. They treated him for the symptoms but nothing really relieved his discomfort or pain. By the time his symptoms worsened enough for him to go to the emergency room, he had Stage IV pancreatic cancer. Stage IV is too late to operate. The original prognosis was 3-4 months to live.

BIL went through radiation and chemo, both of which made him very ill. But he had to keep working - if he took more time off than he had sick leave, vacation days and as much administrative leave as they would give him, his insurance would lapse. So he worked four day weeks, took his treatments late Thursdays so he'd be the sickest over the weekends and ready to drag himself to work on Mondays. After the first six months, his employers would not give him more administrative time to take off so he really had very little quality time with his family the last year of his life.

The treatments gave him more time than the doctors expected - he survived nearly eighteen months. He worked up to two weeks before his death. He weight 128 pounds - at 6'4" he looked like a famine victim. The day he died, the insurance company dropped all coverage for his family so they were left uninsured. The co-pays took a large chunk out of their savings and left my sister worried about her future.

With a national healthcare system, my BIL might have been able to rest more and have a longer life with better quality. Heck, the tests that might have been able to diagnose his cancer would have been done sooner and he might be alive today. And his family would not be worried about paying the bills that are still arriving two years after his death. He would not have had to continue working right up to the very end just to keep insurance coverage.
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sixstrings75 Donating Member (173 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Geez. That's sad. My dad's employer actually said

My dad's employer actually told him to take as much time off as needed and that he would always have his job, no matter what happened. I think the peace of mind really helped dad as well.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #20
35. The US insurance system is set up so you don't have it when you most need it
And that is the biggest problem. I seriously think my BIL's employer wanted him to stop coming in so he was not driving up the cost of their insurance.

The company - Disney World. "Happiest place on earth" my ass!
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
49. The treatment of your dad was barbaric
The U.S. has a very warped healthcare system.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #49
86. It was my brother in law (BIL) but yes, it is barbaric
As soon as you need health care it is denied by whatever excuse the insurance company can come up with. Companies are willing participants since the insurance companies threaten to increase premiums if they do not. The same rationale is used to deny 'pre-existing conditions.'

This is why we need single payer and take healthcare out of the profit takers' control.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #86
129. a little note about preexisting conditions.
If we don't get single payer but we do get mandated computerized medical records then the insurance companies WILL get access to all of your records and I will bet any amount of money you want that they will use it to "pre-exist" lots of people out of coverage.

Here is a little known fact about pre-existing exemptions. Often the insurance companies will know, for a fact, that they will deny your coverage for any large range of pre-existing conditions, even on group insurance and rather than admit it to the chumps, er, clients, they let you continue to pay premiums for years despite knowing in advance that they are NOT GOING TO COVER you.

I'll take my chances with my bookie. At least he pays off when he loses a bet.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #129
131. Some policies will start covering pre-existing conditions after a certain time
If I remember correctly. But you are right, as health records become computerized, as long as health care remains controlled by the insurance companies, patients need protection from the misuse of the records.

In a recent Scientific American issue on privacy, they had an article on the need for genetic privacy but much of the worries discussed should apply to all individual health information.

Tougher Laws Needed to Protect Your Genetic Privacy
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=toughe...

The entire issue is worth reading since it is forward looking on how to protect our privacy on many fronts. http://www.scientificamerican.com/sciammag/?contents=20...
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
18. Self-deleted, duplicate post n/t
Edited on Thu May-28-09 01:51 PM by Spazito
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
19. You are fortunate to live in a civilized country which recognizes that
health care is a right. We in the US are not so fortunate.

There is a teenager at my local CA high school who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The family is insured. However, the insurance is inadequate, and fundraisers are being organized to help the parents with their suddenly astronomical medical expenses. It's awful that people going through such a terrible crisis have it made worse by the threat of financial ruin.

Thank you for your post. I hope your father has a swift and complete recovery.


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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
21. There's a story in the Minneapolis paper about how United Health
Edited on Thu May-28-09 01:58 PM by Lydia Leftcoast
(which is headquartered in MN but not allowed to sell policies here, which should tell you something) suggesting "cost-saving ideas," all of which added up to "We'll disallow more things."

The ensuing online discussion has over 250 posts, with the point man for the insurance companies being one "Rip Anderson," who always shows up on threads talking about health care. After today's session, I googled him, and he's either a nuclear power advocate or an aid to Norm Coleman.

Anyway, he talks about "Canadians flooding into clinics across the U.S. border," and I wrote back that I have relatives in a town on the Canadian border, and they have never reported their clinics being "flooded" by Canadians.

As happens whenever I try to inject facts into such discussions, the wingnuts give me unfavorable ratings. Basically, they're selfish jerks, who become indignant at the idea that they might somehow be paying for someone else's health care (never mind that someone else may be paying for THEIR health care at the same time).

I even contributed a lengthy post about how the systems in Canada, the UK, and Japan really work (the wingnuts think they're all the same), and it got 3/4 "disagree" points.

3aDhUec7PaP3E77K_0c: :D3aDhUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU" target="_blank">http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/46240177.ht...
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sixstrings75 Donating Member (173 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. ...

"As happens whenever I try to inject facts into such discussions, the wingnuts give me unfavorable ratings. Basically, they're selfish jerks, who become indignant at the idea that they might somehow be paying for someone else's health care (never mind that someone else may be paying for THEIR health care at the same time)."

I think this might be the one statement that really hits home for me. It's hard to explain, but all Canadians know this. Yes, technically, we are paying for someone else's healthcare. Big deal. I'm personally glad I'm able to help. It's a very hard concept to explain without sounding all righteous and holier than thou. I guess it comes from being immersed in it your whole life. Simply stated, it is NOT an issue. We just shrug our shoulders and say 'so what? - our taxes might be higher, but when you have been in a bad situation you will understand quite clearly why this is not an issue for me'.

Again, hard to put into words, but I'm happy some of my money went to help someone who is sick. It's almost like a sense of accomplishment. I will always think this way too...there isn't enough propoganda in the entire world to sway me. I believe this his how a VAST majority of Canadians feel as well.
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HappyCynic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #25
95. Helping
As a fellow Canadian, I have to say I agree - I don't mind paying a bit extra to help others out. (Not sure how vast the majority is these days but it should still be a large proportion.) I personally think that some of the animosity to wards going single payer is looking at the costs of the US system as they are, not as they could be. With the US system, you always hear about simple procedures that cost families thousands or tens of thousands of dollars and more expensive bills in the tens or hundreds of thousands. With all that press, people tend to think those costs plus the "extra" cost of the single payer administration will translate to a massive tax. What most don't realize is that single payer will replace a lot of the administrative fees they're paying to their insurance companies and the strength of numbers (from the people paying into the system) will offset a lot of the costs.
I don't know what the average cost of health care is per person in the US but I think that if you compared Canadian taxes vs US taxes + health insurance costs (for a "good" plan), it wouldn't be that far off. Add in the fact that, since the medical costs are part of taxes, they're also reduced if you earn less. And, if you have a family, it's essentially like having your children covered for free, as they don't earn anything and you can claim them as dependents, which reduces your taxes.
I also find it interesting that none of the other "socialized" programs that people pay into aren't a concern. Such programs as police, fire fighters, road building, criminal courts (not the lawyers but the judges, bailiffs, etc.), etc. Is medical care the sole or one of the few determinants of socialism? And there also seems to be a perception that a country is either totally socialist or completely non-socialist when most are a mix.
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kenfrequed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #21
46. Dear gods
I forgot that such morons happen to reside in my beloved homestate. I read about a page and a half of PR bullshit (I think they pay people to post) and mindless conservadrones before I had to give up.

Very few people are even talking single payer universal. I suppose it would help if our politicians would talk about it. I believe we used to have a senator here that would go to bat for universal single payer. Now we have an empty seat and a Democrat that pals around with the damned senate equivalent of the friggin blue dogs.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #46
53. The first thing I noticed after moving back here was the inrease in right-wing morons
I was used to the Oregon variety of morons, whose whole political philosophy was "less taxes and more services," (I actually heard a state legislator say this on the radio), but the ones here add a vicious touch of racism (they HATE anyone with dark skin) and anti-intellectualism.
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kenfrequed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #53
56. Well no doubt...
They will start to wash out soon. Well as soon as the media actually covers the facts and consequences of what the Governor has done.
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Kalyke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
22. Please send this to Obama, Bacus, Schumer and, for grins,
send it to Rush, Hannity and Beck.

I doubt they'd give it any airplay, but it might start to wake them up!
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
23. Andy had the Whipple Procedure
and we all know how much that cost, and the nightmare in getting the money together, etc.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. Yep, we had to raise what 50K before
Johns Hopkins would do the surgery.

Luckily we could do that.

But jeesus, in any civilized country that would be unnecessary.

RIP, Andy.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #27
120. and then Freepers got the paypal acct frozen
delaying Andy's surgery. Which is probably why he passed on later - his surgery was delayed until
paypal unfroze the funds.

Fuckers.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #23
93. First thing I thought of
Election integrity is still an issue even though we won in 2008--there are indications that our victory was actually larger.
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #93
111. Too many here are ignoring that inconvenient truth....elections are still fixed.
Anyone that doubts the dems won so they could take the blame for the coming depression are burying their heads in the sand. Election integrity is as rare in this country as health care integrity.

R.I.P. Andy. We really really miss you. :cry:
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
26. Thank you for writing your story
And best wishes for your Dad's continued healing.

:hug:


I swear the Repubes want to kill this country. :-(
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #26
33. The Repugs no longer have any type of majority.
Edited on Thu May-28-09 03:02 PM by truedelphi
What will keep a decent system of Universal health care off the table will be the bought-out Gatekeeping scum sucking Dems, of whom there are too many to even name at one sitting.
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
28. Welcome - what a way to start your time here. And thanks to Tommy Douglas
I am telling any and all these days about Tommy Douglas, the greatest Canadian. What did Douglas do? He fought long and hard in Saskatchewan and nationally to bring about the Canadian medicare system.
If we had a politician in the mold of Tommy Douglas who would stand up for the right thing, not just 'what we can get.'

So glad your dad came through it. I used to do some work in Canada many years ago. Everybody loved the health care system that I talked to.
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Swede Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. He wasn't elected the greatest Canadian for nothing.
And he's from my province,too.

http://www.cbc.ca/greatest/
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ImOnlySleeping Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #28
62. Tommy's youth
Was key in forming his determination for universal health care. He needed surgery that was only possible as a doctor took it as an opportunity to teach. Without that stroke of luck he would have lost his leg.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
29. Hi, sixstrings75, from another Canadian
Glad to hear your father is OK now.

My wife had major hip surgery a few years ago and had a similar experience in the hospital in Kingston.

I find it unbelievable that anyone wouldn't want our system after hearing the US horror stories of poor health care and sudden impoverishment.

And you're right. Anyone who tries to take our system away is taking their life into their hands.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. The only way the health insurance industry can get by with it
is having their shills in the PR world and in politics lie through their teeth or play upon the ignorance of the American people.

Back when Clinton's plan was first under discussion, I was taking part in a discussion of it, and one participant, who tended to lean a bit conservative, said, "The Oregonian quoted a report about what a disaster the British system is from the London Sun..."

Another member of the conversation, although American, had lived in England and Scotland for nine years as an employee of a U.S. corporation. He burst out laughing. "The London Sun??? That's one of the worst of the tabloids! Nobody with a three-digit IQ believes a word that's in the Sun..."

I didn't fully appreciate his remark until I traveled to England myself and whiled away the time between trains by looking at the newspapers people left behind in the station. There are some real rags on the British journalistic scene, along with some highly intelligent papers along the full spectrum.

But most Americans don't know that.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. And people tend to believe the first story they hear
I think Obama should take along a Canadian to his town hall meetings to answer questions TRUTHFULLY about single payer.

But that won't happen, will it?
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Assuming he would want a Canadian with him
And yeah, that won't happen.
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
30. Remember Andy Stephenson's story? The cost here is your life, unless you have a lot of cash on hand.
I wish your dad a complete and speedy recovery.

Even though I'm USAmerican, I've had a very positive experience with your healthcare system. My husband had to receive emergency care while traveling in B.C. Though we had to pay for it ($800, IIRC), the care was excellent and everyone with whom we came in contact was wonderful (but then, I would probably have to say that about any Canadian I've met, not only healthcare professionals). :loveya:

Thank you so much for this valuable contribution to the dialogue!

:hug:


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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. Yes, Andy died because he had no insurance. DUers took up a collection
for the whipple surgery at John Hopkins but because the check hadn't cleared in time, by the time he did get into surgery it was too late. Andy, a really great guy, died because of it. I wonder how much different the world would have been if Andy had lived and continued with his activism regarding election reform.
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aquamarina Donating Member (772 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
31. Great post and best wishes to your dad
For perspective, can you please let us know what percent of your income taxes (or however it gets paid) goes to your healthcare program. Thanks.
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sixstrings75 Donating Member (173 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #31
42. I'll have to look that up...give me a day or so. n/t
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aquamarina Donating Member (772 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #42
55. Great - thanks.
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lazyriver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
39. Best wishes for complete recovery and a cancer free life for
your father. Thank you for sharing your story and giving us a glimpse of how health care in a civilized society should be run. New Brunswick is but a 90 minute drive to the east for me. I have been so tempted to relocate.
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Joe the Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
40. wow great story and welcome to DU....
had you been in the US this would have cost thousands an you would probably be bankrupt right now.
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undergroundnomore Donating Member (248 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
41. your post certainly was not long
it was informative and more people should hear about it. Far too many people here in the US do not have access to healthcare.
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DesertFlower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
43. thank you for sharing your story
and welcome to DU.
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crazylikafox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
44. Please send this letter to President Obama
He says he reads his mail. Well... he needs to read this one.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
45. K&R and bookmarked
I lived in Canada and know their healthcare system works - well.

Don't believe the RW hype
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
47. I am printing this out to show people who tell me that Canadians have bad health coverage.
Thank you!

:yourock:

So glad your Dad is still alive
and kicking!
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yy4me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
48. Well written sixstrings, I am so glad for your Dad and family.
We always love to read these good ending stories where the patient recovers and does not end up losing his life savings to pay medical bills. What we have in the US is a jumble of confused, greedy, unworkable health care options.

We have been fed the notion that healthcare in Canada and in the UK is so bad that you will die waiting. Nowhere in developed nations do citizens have to go through what we do in order to see a Doctor or have a medical procedure done. Some of us will die because our non-system is so poor.

I wonder how many in the US suffer or die needlessly because there is no option for insurance and there is a great fear of losing everything you worked for all your life because they will take your savings, your house, whatever you have to pay a bill for treatment.

I know people who have no insurance, do not qualify for assistance but are delaying medical attention until we have some kind of national, affordable plan. Our state has a mandatory health insurance law. It is too expensive. The unemployed through layoff have a COBRA option but that is also too expensive.

Washington sits on its well p
I am happy for all of you but not for my American counterparts.

Please join in more often, your writing is great and I'm sure there is much you could offer.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
50. Excellent post, happy to K&R...
and best wishes to your Dad. :hi:

And congratulations on de-lurking!

Sid
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
51. Thanks for posting your dad's story. If you listen to the right wing
opposition in this country, you wouldn't think Canada had doctors let alone hospitals. I can't imagine what this would have cost in the U.S., but it would definitely be into the 6 figures . . . and not the low 6 figures either. Where in Canada does he live?
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emsimon33 Donating Member (904 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
52. My dad had just been given a clean bill of health from his yearly
physical when a few weeks later he was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. He worked two more months and died two months after that.

What is so sad to me about your story is that we had a wonderful DUer who fought so hard for verifiable voting who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. So many of us donated money so that Andy could have the funds to get the whipple procedure at Johns Hopkins. Then some evil people intervened and said that it was all a scam and Andy's procedure was postponed until all could be sorted out. I am sure that this put an unneeded extra stress on him. In the end, he died. Andy Stephenson died became of the greed of the insurance industry and I want them OUT of health care in this country. For Andy and for so many more who suffered needlessly to piggishly enrich a few! I want what every other first world country has!
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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
54. absolutely awesome.
and welcome to DU!!

i can't believe you lurked as long as you did. you should've been posting years ago!!!

best wishes to your father and your family.

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JimWis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
57. Thanks so much for sharing that story. Welcome to DU. I hope
your Dad has a long and healthy life.
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flying_wahini Donating Member (856 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
58. great post -
and welcome to DU !!!!

I lurked for years and really don't post that much - but as you have found out....

there are LOTS of wonderful people here. :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:
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puebloknot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
59. Sorry? Don't be. You have done a great service by writing this very personal ...
...account. Too many Americans have a knee-jerk reaction to "socialized medicine," and continue to behave against their own best interests.

As an American, it took my best friend from Israel to enlighten me to the fact that health care is a human right, not a privilege. She said, "It is ridiculous that the U.S., the richest country in the world, cannot organize itself to take care of its own people."

She was right. She is right.

"Revolution": It's a lovely word, in this context, isn't it?

Keep on writing. And welcome to DU!
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
60. Thanks for sharing, and good luck
with dad...

I know how tough it can be to have these things happen to family
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
61. I lworked in Canada about 20 years ago - it was great!
I would highly recommend that system!
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
63. give your dad a hug for me
sweet story
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proReality Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
64. Thank you!
I doubt you'll mind if I pass your words on to all my ignorant right-wing friends.
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
65. I can tell you what would happen if you were in the US.
Our neighbor had the same thing your father did. He and his partner of 23 years (who of course, could not be married in Texas) had insurance. It still cost them nearly everything. But the operation you mentioned was not even suggested. Too expensive and "experimental" for the insurance company. He died in four months. He is very missed, and we grieve with and for his partner.

If you haven't got insurance you do like my neighbor's son. He is married, two kids, laid off but working at late night restaurant jobs. He broke his foot helping a neighbor move from the house they had lost. He waited three days in agony (still working at night on his feet because if he stays home, he doesn't get paid and the kids don't eat). He did internet research around town to find the cheapest way to handle this. He went to the county hospital emergency room and spent seven hours waiting for his x-ray and cast. They were good to him, but were overwhelmed with the people who use the emergency room as primary care because they have no insurance. He left with a cast and some pills for the pain. The order was to stay off his feet for two weeks. Three hours later he started his seven hour, on-his-feet shift at the restaurant. Hasn't missed a night. He grits it through though for his house and kids.

Tell me this is system is better than single pay. Go ahead and try to tell me.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
66. Thank you for posting and continued well wishes for your Dad...
welcome to DU.

:hi:


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C_eh_N_eh_D_eh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
67. Canadian health care is wonderful.
My own experience didn't have a happy ending, but the doctors did everything they could, and they kept it from being much worse for all of us.

We've still got our problems, though. My own favorite gripe is availability. Being able to afford health care doesn't help much when your government-funded family doctor only gets paid to work a half day a week, and all the specialists and imaging clinics have waiting lists stretching for months, if not years (try telling a hospital resident that, by the way, and there's a strong chance they won't believe you). Only ER has the ability to provide or arrange for immediate care, and by the time you go to them it may already be too late. I don't know if it's as big an issue stateside, but I gather doctors make more money down there, so maybe not.
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canucksawbones Donating Member (203 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #67
76. well not entirely true
I've been a physician in B.C. and Nova Scotia for 16 years. This government funded Dr. is well paid (I am paid by the visit, not a half day a week)I can get a patient to see a specialist or diagnostic imaging today provided it is an emergency. Yes there is long waits for some procedures, but that is when it isn't an emergency, that's the price that is paid for a public health system. Adding a second tier (private payers) would not solve the problem, all it would do is allow the rich to move up the line, while the needy get pushed farther back. The biggest problem in Canadian health care is mostly that we have to live in a budget, hospitals have a budget from which funds are allocated for staffing OR, ER, lab, DI, etc. In a private system those things generate profit, In a public system they eat budget, therefore access is rationed by need rather than ability to pay, In the US access is rationed by ability to pay rather than need.

Finally the other access problem is lack of physicians. In Nova Scotia we have 3 neurosurgeons, that means access is limited by the actual physical capability of those surgeons, they simply can't see the number of patients that we would like them to see, consequently there is a 14 month wait for elective visits, but they always have immediate access in their call group for neurosurgical emergencis.

G
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #76
79. Thanks for your perspective
It's rare we hear from Canadian healthcare professionals.

That's a common boogie man the RW throws out when arguing about publicly funded healthcare. They get all het up aobut the supposed lack of care for elective procedures. They don't even see how stupid it is to compare availability for elective visits vs it being a genuine emergency/need.
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sweetpotato Donating Member (678 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #67
116. Try getting an appointment in my city
I live in the southern US.

In order for me to get an appointment with my ophthalmologist, I have to schedule it roughly 4-6 months ahead.

In order for me to get an appointment with my internal medicine doc, I have to schedule about 3 months out.

Dentist - about 2 months.

Walking in for treatment of anything is unheard of.

Tell me again about how long you have to wait?
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
68. Congratulations on being in a country with sensible health care policies
and on finding such a special doctor. Best wishes to your dad and your whole family during his convalecence and for years after.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
69. Thank you! Long post? Nope -- I hung onto every word.
:hug: Hugs to your dad. :hug:

Big K&R!

And a big, warm welcome to DU, sixstrings!

:hi:
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #69
70. Me too. Read every word!
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #70
73. me too!
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bluethruandthru Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
71. What a great story!
I got a bit teary reading it. I'm so happy for your family! I'm also sad for my family and most other American familes who, even though we have health insurance, are just one major illness away from being bankrupt. It's hard for me to imagine what life would be like without the constant worry - no matter how far below the surface - of the cost of health care for myself and my family.
President Obama has been a major disappointment for me on this issue. I don't see things getting better except maybe for uninsured children. The rest of us will be left to the big insurance companies to be chewed up and spit out.
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
72. ...
You know, the freaking wingnuts may bitch and moan about universal health care but the minute they actually get it, you can be sure that you would have to pry it from their cold dead hands. It is just a matter of getting past that initial pang of actually getting it. I mean, just look at social security, medicare and medicaid, and other entitlements. You think they would ever have a chance of getting passed today? They won't take these things, but once they have them, they'll never let go.
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jimlup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
74. Thanks - this helps blunt the typical RW argument.
We need your story to help us defend against the typical anecdotal and likely fabricated right wing story horror story about the Canadian Health Care system.
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AllyCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
75. Awesome! So glad you posted about your dad and so glad he's doing well!!
Your story sounds like the kind of care your dad would have had here...step down unit, nurse at side for hours upon end. The difference would be that your dad would have had TV with abbreviated cable and a huge bill. The wait would have been just as long to allow the ****ing insurance company to authorize the surgery. The hospital stay would have been SHORTER to allow the ****ing insurance company to maximize their profits.

I'd take your health care system any day of the week. Thanks for posting and welcome!!!
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
77. I am so glad that you told your story.
K&R Thank you! :hug:
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Swagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
78. I've had 2 knee replacements on the Australian Medicare-similar
Edited on Thu May-28-09 10:02 PM by Swagman
to the Canadian system. And yes..all I paid for was TV rental and a taxi home (although they would have taken me by hospital bus)

It's not free of course..nothing ever is. But we pay a Medicare tax every week out of our wages..only a small amount that adds up over the years and when every taxpayers pays it adds up to $$billions. And then when you need it..the doctor or hospital or operation is there for you.

Been like that for over 35 years now and has it's up and downs but the system WORKS and no-one wants it to ever go away or back to what it was before. Not doctors, patients or even the most conservative politicians who now realize it's just too popular.

## People who are unemployed, disabled, not working etc get their Medicare payment automatically credited by the Govt. Everyone is a winner, so to speak.

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orbitalman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 10:15 PM
Response to Original message
80. FANTASTIC !
Is the American right to health care like this something we're going to have to fight and DIE for??
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
82. Thank you for that. Here's wishing your dad
and the rest of the family a speedy recovery and long life. Welcome to DU
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
83. I have a good friend in Canada and through her I have great respect for Canadian
Health Care. She had cancer and received very good treatment. I wish we had such health care.
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Joe Bacon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
84. Bless your dad, sixstrings!
I got to kick and recommend this. My prayers are for your Dad to have a complete recovery!
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DFW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
85. Congrats on your dad's good fortune!
Mine was also diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in January 2000. Johns Hopkins had great people and they tried to do the
Whipple in April, but when they operated, it was too late. The tumor was already too large, and although he lasted seven
more months, he never had a chance. He was lucky enough to have an employer (at age 78--same employer he had since 1948,
and he didn't have the word "retirement" in his vocabulary) who provided great health insurance, but was all too aware
how many did not.

A rare not-for-sale member of the Washington print press, I reposted his last column, written from his death bed two weeks
before he died, here on DU a while ago. Pretty powerful stuff.

I hope your dad fares better and is around a good long time.

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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
87. awesome post, thank you for posting this! :) best wishes to you and your father! nt
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wundermaus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
88. Great Post!
If my mother-in-law had been a Canadian Citizen, there is no doubt in my mind that she would be alive today... The poor are unplugged.
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
89. I'm very glad your dad is doing well
and thank you for a keeper.

We're working very hard down here to get what you've got. Thanks!
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
90. K&R. Thank The Great Maker that he wasn't in the hands or our blood-soaked parasites.
Have you considered forwarding this to Micheal Moore(I think it is him that's compiling these stories to push single payer)?

Congratulations, and thank you.


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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 01:05 AM
Response to Original message
91. Thanks for sharing
I'm so glad your dad is here to celebrate life .
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Kitty Herder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
92. Amazing story.
Thanks so much for sharing it with us.
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DesertDiamond Donating Member (838 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 03:51 AM
Response to Original message
96. WOW!!! Thank you SO much for posting this!!!
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FunkyLeprechaun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 04:07 AM
Response to Original message
97. Thank you for your OP!
I really do think its time that the US has some sort of UHC. I moved to the UK three years ago and I've experienced a wonderful health service, despite people telling me the UK's health care system was horrible.

It's the Republicans fearmongering yet again.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 04:16 AM
Response to Original message
98. Now, if the Canadian system could identify the Causal factor
of the Cancer, and prevent the already well advanced appearance of tumors, I'd give a hearty thumbs up to the state of Healthcare. Unfortunately, the Canadian are operating under the same methods of the American medical system, and that is treating the disease but not the cause.

While I'm happy your Father survived the operation, I would not wish such a traumatic and barbaric experience on anyone.

While I commend the Canadian healthcare system for the important social insurance that it provides, I'm still a little disappointed that we don't have prevention down to a fine science, while people are allowed to eat posoinus GMO food, eat food with minimal nutritional value, and don't even know how to screen for cancer until it metastatizes.

This is not a new disease.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 06:01 AM
Response to Original message
100. K&R, happy to hear your father
got better. Thanks for sharing this.

Few of us on DU have doubts about the Canadian healthcare system. We know for sure that it is more efficient and effective than our own. And the American people are becoming aware that we have been lied to and taken advantage of.
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Christa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
102. K & R
When we immigrated to America 12 years ago to follow the American dream, we made the biggest mistake of our lives.

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boobooday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 06:58 AM
Response to Original message
103. Incredible story
So happy your Dad is okay!

It's amazing that there are people in this country who try to scare others with the specter of "socialized healthcare."

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cabbage08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
104. K&R
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whosinpower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
105. As a fellow canuck, I have a similiar story
My husband woke me up in the middle of the night complaining of not feeling well, and had decided we needed to get to the emerg. When we arrived, he told them his symptoms and they immediately, and I mean IMMEDIATELY moved him into a room, where his heart was monitored and tests began. He had complained of chest pains, shortness of breath and numbness on one side of his body. While they moved him into an examination/cardiac room, I was still at the admitting station giving them his information.
To make a long story short, he stayed in hospital until he could recieve a multiple heart bypass surgery. He ended up in hospital for just over three weeks, and when he came home - our bill was only the med's we had to buy to continue his treatment.

There will be those that complain of long waiting lists for hip or knee replacements, etc and I can understand that, however, our health system literally saved my husband's life. There is no way we could afford to pay for this costly surgery in the US. And a person should never be faced with having to choose a roof over their head, or their loved ones life.

You are correct sixstrings - it would be political suicide for government to attempt to americanize our health system. We all understand the pressures the politicians are facing however - for profit health providers would desperately like to dismantle what we have, and discredit the good it does offer. And we do need to address the rising need for more physicians and specialists.

The current story on Ehealth that is circulating is an indication of how private contractors are not necessarily better stewards of our tax dollars than a government run one.
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newfie11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 08:03 AM
Response to Original message
106. Thanks for the post.
Now I hope this makes people realize government run health care works!!!!
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Number9Dream Donating Member (574 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
107. Best wishes for Dad - Thanks for sharing n/t
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nxylas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
108. But..but..a friend of a friend is Canadian and she had to wait 6 months to see a doctor!
I'm being sarcastic, of course, but I notice the healthcare industry has started placing ads on CNN (and probably elsewhere too) using exactly the same anecdotal approach that the wingnuts always employ when defending for-profit healthcare.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #108
110. and the propaganda begins
This article tells how successful they were with one propagandist, Betsy McCaughey, when the Clintons tried to reform healthcare.

http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/02/lets_stop_this_...

Now this very same propagandist is back in the game, playing the same tricks, right now.


Cher
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 08:08 AM
Response to Original message
109. great story
well told - welcome to DU
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
112. ON THE OTHER SIDE, I found a Garage Sale fundraiser...
.. for a college kid who caught cancer while not working and not having insurance.

I been to three fundraisers in the last year, not garage sales, but halls rented so parents could sell 50/50 raffle tickets and bid on donated items. One woman relative to my SO survived. One friend of a friend 20 something good looking kid with a cap pulled low on his head did not. The other, I don't even want to know the outcome.

Here on the other side of the Detroit River in America. Rica is Spanish for rich. America is not rica at all.
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Yellow Horse Donating Member (462 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 05:15 AM
Response to Reply #112
136. I am sick & tired of Spaghetti Dinners & Rabies Clinics & all the fundraisers for kids with cancer..
...and other Americans who need healthcare. These people NEED HEALTHCARE, not this nonsense which basically involves becoming a beggar to try and get some help to save their life.

THIS IS A NATIONAL DISGRACE that manditory "insurance" (with weak little policies that don't cover enough) will NOT fix.

Single payer is a no-brainer. Sadly too many Americans, especially our politicians, have no brains.



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1955doubledie Donating Member (224 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
114. 
Edited on Fri May-29-09 09:39 AM by 1955doubledie
"...and you will see blood pouring in the streets. Revolution."

The enemies of the "not-for-profit" health system are no dummies, and wouldn't dare try to make Canada switch overnight. They'd do it just like they did it here...with a 50-year-long propaganda campaign, starting slowly and quietly, gradually building up the momentum. They'll pass along spurious emails insinuating that certain politicians are profiting from the system. They'll pay people to write letters to editors, with loads of anecdotal "evidence" about how broken the system is. They'll find ways to take over the airwaves and install Canada's equivalent to FOX News and Hate Radio shock-jocks. After several decades of media bombardment about the "abuses" and "corruption" of the system, enough MP's would then be voted in (and bought off) to "reform" health care...and of course tout the USA model as the ideal. :eyes: And by that time the public will be whole-heartedly behind the change.

Never underestimate the power of propaganda. It was known for centuries that smoking affected health, and yet tobacco companies pushed the meme that smoking was actually healthy for you...which stuck in the public's mind until very recently. Propaganda got us to march for war in Iraq, in spite of us screaming here and all over the place that it was all a sham. If they can get people to do that, they can certainly change Canada's health system.

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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
115. Bless you, your Dad & Canada.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
117. Best wishes to your dad
I'm British, we have a similar system here. Five years ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had the remaining tests the following day (Wednesday) and went in for surgery on the Saturday. Only cost to us was the couple of paperbacks she went through.

We still have free eye tests here. The problem is convincing people to take advantage of the preventative measures. We have this cultural attitude that you avoid the doctor until you're virtually bleeding from the eyes.
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
118. Thanks for the post, important that people hear this.
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Xenotime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
119. All themore reason why we need universal healthcare.
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colsohlibgal Donating Member (670 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
122. Thank You So Much
What an inspiring story, may your dad enjoy many, many more years. Just another example of what we could have here instead of the insane profit based hodge podge we have that is killing people in the US.
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Pooka Fey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
123. Hugs and thank you for sharing your story. KnR
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
124. Welcome to D.U. sixstrings,
thanks for sharing, I'm happy for your family and your nation. :hi:
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
125. K&R from one Canadian to another.
My mother (deceased) did get the very best in care in Ontario, where we lived. My father didn't go broke finding her the best care either.

All the best to your Dad and your entire family.


I'm now in MI. I sure appreciate what I had before.

aA
kesha
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #125
132. We need to begin gathering these stories to combat the crapola in the corporate media!
Really, these personal stories could add just what is needed to the "discussion"

Thanks for sharing this!
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Dangerously Amused Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
126. Thanks for this. Best to you and your family.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
127. Welcome to DU!
:toast:
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-29-09 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
130. welcome to DU! great post
Edited on Fri May-29-09 02:00 PM by dionysus
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sixstrings75 Donating Member (173 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-01-09 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
133. WOW! Thanks for all the well wishes.

Unbelievable. Thanks again for all your help and support.

Can't say enough about the good people here.

Also feel free to send to whomever you wish.

Thank you.
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 05:05 AM
Response to Original message
135. Andy Stephenson had the same procedure, and we all went through HELL (including Andy) so he could.
Edited on Thu Jun-04-09 05:18 AM by demodonkey

Look up the story of what Andy went through because of funding that operation. It was worse than hell and it was criminal what was done to him.

And there was NO need for any of it; people in the USA should be covered for what they need.

Andy often said that HEALTHCARE IS THE NEXT BIG FIGHT we need to take up AFTER we correct the problems with our voting machines.

Sadly NEITHER problem is getting cleaned up. The voting machines are just as bad as they ever were. But many Dems foolishly believe that because Obama won everything is OK now and so they are complacent about election dangers. With healthcare, we can't get single-payer a real seat at the table and now public option seems to be in danger of being dropped or crippled in favor of subsidizing the big business insurance lobby.

I miss Andy so often, and I sure wish he was around now to help.

:cry:

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