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My Thoughts on Universal Health care in response to another's comments.

Initially this started as a comment in response to another person's comment in an article totally unrelated to health care. I decided to expand upon it because I am tired of people here using this as an excuse for denying 45 million Americans the right to have health care:

   See article here

Ask Canada how well that works, and while you're at it, ask them why they come here for their healthcare. Because it's the best in the world. Most countries in Europe have the same problem.



  First let me state why I feel qualified to speak to this point:

1) I am originally from Canada and I am an RN with 18 yrs working in the US health care system and almost 10 years in the Canadian system.

   Before any one accuses me of leaving Canada because of the Health Care system there, I'll tell you now that had nothing to do with it. In fact, if my first employer here in the US is any indicator I made every effort to work in an environment similar to my Canadian experience, meaning I worked at a county run hospital where everyone was treated regardless of insurance.

2) I have family still living in Canada including elderly parents so I can speak truthfully about the health care they receive.

3) My current job involves going in to people's homes to care for them under the umbrella of Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare or VA Fee based programs here in Texas.

                   Canada wins hands down in the provision of health care services for the particular demographic of patients I am most familiar with. My elderly parents get the types of services I could only dream of providing for my patients.  My parents are not wealthy and are totally dependent on the Canadian health insurance programs both through the provincial health insurance plan, Veterans Affairs and the municipal programs provided by the city in which they live.

                  Universal health insurance works in most other nations, yes there are problems, just as there are in any system.  However in those countries with universal or national health care programs everybody receives basic health care including regular medical check ups and preventative care.  

       Yes, there are those with money who get impatient or lose faith in their own country's health care providers and seek help elsewhere. It might interest many to know that while I was working as a nurse in Canada I took care of several wealthy (and in one case not so wealthy) Greek, Italian and other Europeans who came to Canada because they felt they could get better care there.

                  If the US health insurance companies were more willing to provide affordable coverage for every body that included preventative health care programs they would save billions of dollars that are currently spent on dealing with the results of poor health care choices and preventable catastrophic illnesses.

            The majority of middle income Americans are just one catastrophic illness away from bankruptcy and homelessness with insurance plans that have massive deductibles and 20% to 30% co pays for hospitalization and diagnostic testing. Many drug plans are set up so that Doctors are forced to prescribe less effective medications because the insurance co pay their patient's get hit with makes it so that their patient can't afford to pay for the medication that would do the best job for them. 

                 Then there are the unscrupulous employers who lay off employees due to excessive sick leave...


Since starting this article I was moved to address further points on the above linked article and will included parts of that exchange below:

   Then why do other countries, including Canada, come here for their big operations, like heart transplants and such? Because we have the best trained doctors in the world. The competition (read capitalism and private practice) makes for better training. Andrea L.

My response:

Funny, Canada has a large number of foreign born Doctors who go there to train as well. In fact I worked at a major teaching hospital in Canada and took care of the recipient of the first Heart transplant performed in North America after the failed attempts in the sixties.

I had also taken care of patients and worked with Doctors who came from all over the world to Canada and Toronto Western Hospital for kidney transplants and training in Transplant Medicine, Peritoneal Dialysis and several other specialty areas.

All in Canada

        I could write reams about this subject but will have mercy on the rest of you all and end this one here.

  *Please be civil in your comments this is not flagged for adult content!

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