I am a former Canadian citizen who visits my home country on a regular basis.
My observance, first-hand, of Canada’s medical system is quite simple. Although Canada has a vast land mass, most of it is unoccupied. Although unoccupied, it still must maintain its transportation system, roads, utilities, etc., and still ensure enough money is generated to care for its citizens just like here.
My brother was and is still in a hospital. His care, and the care of others I’ve had personal encounters with, tells me this: Although we have a population many times larger than Canada’s, and generate taxes that far exceed those generated by their citizens, we can truly learn from, and be envious of, how they do so much more with their resources.
Granted, Canadians pay much more in sales taxes — 12 to 14.5 percent, maybe more in some provinces. But they use those generated taxes wisely and for the benefit of the many, and not just the few, like the insurance companies.
In fact, the government is the major health insurer.
My brother could never afford to, and his deductibles would themselves impoverish him if he had to pay for more than two months of medical treatment, to include three operations, chemo and radiation treatments (in hospital), soon to go on to out-of-hospital rehab.
These costs would be in the hundreds of thousands should he have had to pay, even with insurance coverage, the deductibles, co-pays, etc.
Anyway, they do things very efficiently because they have to. For example, they line you up with others for like procedures, done like an assembly line.
One person I know had a heart attack and went to his local hospital. They diagnosed it as such, sent him via ambulance (a half hour later) to the major medical center, had stints put in, returned to the initial hospital for continued treatment and released within five days.
Now how efficient is that?
They don’t have the luxury of paying (as with insurance companies) whatever the market allows.
We pay all those extra costs, passed on to us even when we pay our premiums.
Most of my friends and family who have this government-paid medical insurance aren’t impoverished by their hospital bills and insurance premiums.
Keep the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care act, and raise taxes two cents on everybody, maybe raise it five cents on big business. They get all those tax deductions, meaning what they don’t pay in taxes the average American makes up for.
If they want to do business overseas because taxes are cheaper, let them take the whole company overseas and live there too, not just set up a dummy office to cheat the American taxpayer.
W. Liberty Meadows Drive