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Pros and Cons of Canadian Healthcare

Health Insurance Rate Hikes

My son lives and works in the USA. He works for a large international company. He recently got notice that his health insurance premiums have raised by 41% to $900 a month and he can no longer afford the coverage. The policy has also increased the co-pay so for $10,000 a year he still has to pay 20% of all procedures.

I am so worried about my son and all US citizens. What are you thinking? Just watched Robin Williams on HBO and he joked that maybe congressmen should wear jackets like NASCAR racers with the names of their sponsors on them such as the insurance and big pharmaceutical companies.

You think that freedom to choose which company is going to bleed you dry is important? On the way to Mexico we stopped to buy our auto insurance and I got to talking with the agent. Her husband was out of work for a year and she can't afford health insurance. She had a mild heart attack and was sent home from the hospital with instructions to visit a cardiologist. She doesn't have the money to do so. She has the hereditary genetic marker for colon cancer. I am not an expert, but I know there is a genetic component for some types of colon cancer. She wants to get her children tested, but again she has no insurance and cannot afford the state program which costs $75 per child per month. She makes a few dollars too much to get free coverage.

I don't know how you deal with the constant fight to get coverage and then to get the insurance companies to pay legitimate claims. I find the whole business frightening. The worst part is all the scare tactics being used by companies and people with vested interests in keeping the status quo. US citizens are some of the most generous and giving people in the world. Why don't you give yourselves affordable health services.

Update re Canadian Waiting Lists

I am on a waiting list for cataract surgery. It will be a whole 7 weeks. Would you choose to have it done in a week if you could have it done for no cost in 6 more.

I watched the documentary "Sicko" again on HBO. The state of the US system is appalling. It's hard to imagine a system than excludes the health care for the 9/11 volunteers that are suffering debilitating lung conditions or that dumps defenseless old people out on the street in hospital gowns.

So you are happy because you have a good job and a good policy. What if that job goes away? What if one of your children has a pre-existing condition and you can't get coverage.

There are no perfect health care systems because people are imperfect. The system the US currently has is based on greed and an insurance company standing between the patient and the needed care.

It would be nice to know exactly how much the pharmaceutical and insurance companies are paying their lobbyists?

What You Need to Know About Our Canadian Health Care System

Please don't be unduly influenced by advertisements by special interest groups against a public health care plan. These ads play on your fears and emotions. In any medical system there are a few people who receive less that adequate care for various reasons. A low income family member in California received poor health care and died early with cancer because she was not sent promptly for necessary tests. There is a particularly malicious email circulating that is aimed at seniors and tells them that stints are denied to people over 65. I do not know of any senior here in Canada ever denied a stint because of age.

I believe it is a right for everyone to have basic health care.

Our Canadian system isn't perfect, but it costs almost 60% less than the US. It is not totally socialized medicine but a mix of private and public services. The hospitals are owned and funded by the provinces and in the case of British Columbia that was accomplished originally by a sales tax.

It is a one payer system and the doctors as a group must negotiate their rates for services with the provinces. In other words, they can't charge whatever they want for any given procedure.

Each province is a little different, but is required to provide basic health services under federal law. In BC, we only pay 25% of nearly all prescriptions up to an annual maximum of $400 and up depending on income. Premiums for low income families are subsidized and in some provinces there are no monthly premiums. Provincial health services are very responsive to people with a sudden loss of income and inability to pay premiums. The premiums can be adjusted until they have the ability to pay.

The medical services as a whole negotiate with pharmaceutical companies so our prescription costs are much lower.

I admit to a biased view because our system has saved the lives of two family members.

Just ask any Canadian politician what would happen if he or she were to advocate privatization of our medical services. Their political careers would suffer! I only know of one in Alberta, Ralph Klein, who suggested that and the matter was dropped in short order.


  • No doctor bills, no hospital bills, no co-pays
  • No one is excluded
  • Excellent public health, preventative services, free mammograms, dietitians, diabetic nurses and nurses for home visits for new mothers, the chronically ill and the elderly.
  • Emergency transport by air or ambulance is provided for a minimal charge in BC of about $60 or so.
  • Low health premiums
  • Supplemental policies are allowed for dental and other misc. items but by law can not include any services provided by the basic provincial health plan
  • Doctors may not collect fees from patients and also bill the Province for the same service.
  • Doctors may opt out of the system.
  • Very few unnecessary surgeries


  • Waiting lists for elective procedures.
  • Must be referred by family doctor to see specialists. It has been our experience that once you get in to see a specialist the wait is not too long. Family doctors are good about referrals so that you can get into the system as early as possible.
  • Shortage of doctors caused by brain drain to the US and mistakes made by the College of Physicians and Surgeons who control the number of medical student admissions and residencies available to immigrant doctors.
  • Travel costs to see specialists if you live away from urban areas due to concentration of specialists in large centers for efficiency. (80% of all Canadians live in urban areas)
  • Hospitals aren't fancy, no in-room phones and wards are co-ed.
  • Delivery of health services sometimes difficult due to the sheer size of our country and small population, smaller than that of California.

The above information is mainly about British Columbia, because that is where I live. Each province approaches basic health care a little differently, but health care insurance is reciprocal between all the provinces except for Quebec.

This year my husband and I paid $650 for an annual travel health policy covering us for only 15 days at a time in the US. Our annual premiums for health care here in BC are about the same amount. We know many retired Canadian who no longer spend time in the US just because their health care insurance costs are so exorbitant. We spend our winters in Mexico for that reason.

This is just one Canadians point of view and occasionally I do complain, but then I look to the south and count my blessings.


butt on October 29, 2015:

hells yeah

Luigi on March 26, 2014:

I agree but also don't like it's almost like some is not all the correct but most seemed quite accurate

maggiemae (author) on January 16, 2014:

Scroll to Continue

Here is a fairly long clip that explains some of the reasons that health care in the USA is so much more expensive than other developed countries without better outcomes.

maggiemae (author) on December 08, 2013:

Just found an informative article on the AARP website which compares US healthcare to Canadian healthcare:

maggiemae (author) on September 25, 2012:

I have never said that our Canadian Universal health care insurance is free. We all pay for it through taxes, natural resource royalties for timber, oil and gas. Nearly 99% of all mineral rights are owned by provincial or federal governments and there are huge tracks of forest lands owned by each province. All of these generate income which can be used for the benefit of all Canadians.

So does socialized medicine work, just check how European and Scandinavian countries deliver health care to their citizens. Ask those people if they would give up their health care delivery systems. The provision of affordable health services is not the cause of some of the financial difficulties in a few of the European countries.

USA on September 17, 2012:

I am doing a report for a paper in my health class and read your article. I believe which is better is just a personal opinion and cannot be solved based on facts from the opposing debater. I do live in the United States and naturally think that paying the extra buck for healthcare when I want it, without a long wait, is better than having to wait for service. One man from this article said he waited 5 years for a surgery and still haven't received the service. Above that he cannot switch doctors to his liking. I am sorry but I am a person who likes high quality service and will pay the extra to get it. Now for those who are saying money money money blah blah blah I'm broke blah blah blah... get a job. My mother had four kids and two deadbeat ex's not willing or able to pay any child support and I personally had a rheumatic illness which and i needed shots every month to stay out of the Hospital. You know how she afforded our high cost of living? She found two jobs( neither of which required anything more than a high school diploma or GED) and worked. So to those who say Canadian is better because its low costing or free is either a free loader or honestly doesn't require the high quality service of getting assistance when its convenient for themselves and of which case is fine. This is my bias and self observed opinion and though I am not saying our is perfect I am saying, to my standards, it is the better of the two

francis5k on June 13, 2012:

What a nice article! very informative! keep it up!

maggiemae (author) on June 01, 2012:

The only time health care is important is when you are sick. Unfortunately many of us are ill because of lifestyle and overabundance of foods lacking in nutrition. Too much sugar, too much corn syrup, too much fat, too much refined flour are killing us slowly.

QuentinDeRoches on May 30, 2012:

I got a question maggie why is health care so important? and do you have a degree in aerospace science? Please answer and i'm glad you came.

NotQuentinDesRoches on May 29, 2012:

maggiemae you are so right! I AGREE 100%. Thanks for posting this! Toodles!

maggiemaefan on May 29, 2012:


maggirmae on May 29, 2012:

yesyesyes yes yesyesyesy yesy yes yesyeysyesyy

highschoolkid on May 17, 2012:

we are watching sicko in my personal finance class and it has some good points. the thing i don't like is the government running it and how long you have to wait for a surgery in Canada. Our government hasn't run anything to the positive only down to the ground.

maggiemae (author) on May 15, 2012:

I am not a medical professional so the only way I have to evaluate our medical system is through my own experiences and those of my family. This somewhat flawed Canadian one payer system to deliver basic medical care has kept my family members alive.

Eventually we all will die of something but for most of us quality of life is all important. Doctors and pharmaceuticals can't cure everything and there are bad outcomes for treatment. I think sometimes we think they can perform miracles and we don't take responsibility for our health by eating and exercising properly,

deloris1205 on April 17, 2012:

hey, i disagrea with your article because you should be putting more pros and cons and not your life.

Dil Kumar Rai on April 08, 2012:

Request for an Appointment

Rex white on March 09, 2012:

People in the us also wait long times in emergency in some areas. I live near Muncie Indiana and took my dad to the er in Muncie. He was 81 years old with copd, and lung cancer. He was very ill. They would not tell me how long we had to wait but said it would be some time. An hour and a half later I talked to another person who had been waiting for 3 1/2 hours. I asked At the desk if we would have to wait this long and only got a nod. I believe they didn't want us to leave because dad had very good ins. and they wanted the money. I got the impression the weren't allowed to tell us. Knowing that dad was to sick to set there that long in a wheelchair I put him in the car and drove him approx. 85 miles to another good hospital in fort wayne where he got right in. Point being we have to wait in the u.s. even with the best of ins. And the money was the most important thing to them in my opinion.

mary dicerni on February 20, 2012:

I am on Vancouver Island North, and have been waiting for surgery on 2 ruptures and split apart abdominal muscles, since 5 years now, and even though it has been diagnosed, I cannot get them repaired. It requires a plastic surgeon when the abdominal wall is torn, so they will not refer me to one who can do it. We are not allowed to switch doctors. No one will take you if you have, even , a bad doctor. Not intelligent !! I will be dead before they allow me the surgery. I cannot walk since it tore, and the pain was diagnosed. The next doctor I saw after it ripped, gave me weight gain drugs, so the surgeons all say it was caused by the obesity, but I only gained weight after the rips, and the drugs. We cannot win in British Columbia, Canada. I was very slim and strong before.. Now an invalid. I am looking for surgery in USA now. It is difficult when you know no surgeons. Hope others have a better story.

jestymoljoseph on February 18, 2012:

thanks to this article.i was doing case study project on canada health care i am an immigrant staying in ontario i was not that much familiar to here.this article helped me a lot to know much about the pros and cons of canadian health care system.really it offer an excellent health care delivery,bu waiting period is long....

Helen on January 11, 2012:

I live in Ontario and am very glad we have the health care system we do. My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 15 months and is now 15 years old. She has obviously required insulin and blood testing supplies her whole life and between what the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) pays and my additional coverage through my employer's insurance plan. She has been hospitalized several times all at no cost to me. Her trips to the hospital that required an ambulance cost me $45 each trip. This was recoverable under my employer's plan.

Doctor's are just people so there are excellent doctors, good doctor's and bad doctor's, but, we are free to choose our own doctor, fire the doctor and find another one if we want to. If I ever need or want to find alternative care I am free to do so. Our Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) is world renowned and children are sent there from around the world to receive state of the art, exceptional treatment.

I had the opportunity to move to our head office in the United States, however, I declined as my concerns regarding my ability to obtain health care for my daughter took priority over my career. Also, I love my country. Canada is a great nation. In my opinion the greatest.

Nurse2011 on December 12, 2011:

I am from US. I like the healthcare system of Canadian that care is free for everybody, but the waiting list is ridiculous as what my aunt experienced. She ended up going to other country and have her MRI done. You guys are proud of your healthcare system and I am proud of mine too. Although, our health insurance is expensive, but we are provided with the best care. No waiting list for months... and that is something that I am proud of. So my question is, how come Canadians travel to the US to get medical care if your healthcare system is excellent? We have seen mostly Canadians' license plates in Mayo Clinic parking lot here in Minnesota.

Mario on September 24, 2011:

Remember to all parties that in USA you need to pay for Medicare over $100.oo monthly fron your retired income and cover almost nothing. So you need a secondary or complimentary insurance in order to cover your bills. Both are not sufficients to cover the astronomical costs in you need a hospitalization.

Linda on June 15, 2011:

Thank you or your article. I have been researching the pros and cons of Canadian health care as with our health care in the U.S.

My health insurance costs me $93.58 per month which includes medical, dental and vision. I pay a copayment of $15.00 for office visits only. I had open Heart surgery 4 years ago which would have been well over $100,000, cost me around $500.00. I take several medications everyday which are expensive and would cost me over $1,000 each month, costs me $15.00 per med.for copayment. It pays for Dental exams, teeth cleaning, eye exams and glasses or $40.00 towards contact lenses, mammograms and 80 percent on all other exams and tests.

Unfortunately, people who do not have health insurance which also includes illegal immigrants. Can go to any Dr. And any hospital and will not be refused treatment. If they are unable to pay, they apply for assistance and it is we, the tax layers who pay.

Our system is not perfect and does need some changes, but I as well as many others who live here are satisfied with my insurance. I like the fact that there are more than one insurance company to choose from, this allows competitive pricing. People like the above mentioned can shop around for an insurance they can afford. It takes a little homework. After researching, thus

far I have found no other countries health care that can give me the care at the expense of

affordable health care.

Elece_k on April 22, 2011:

I am a Registered Nurse working in Ontario and I love our Health Care System.

In Ontario we don't pay monthly health premiums but yearly health premiums, and for a middle class person like myself I only pay $600 dollars a year which is included in my Income tax. For my parents who are retired they pay $200 for the both of them per year. For that $600 dollars a year I don't have to worry about having to pay huge bills if I break my arm and need medical care or having to fight with an insurance company to get it paid for. I go to the emergency department and it's taken care of in the order of URGENCY! Obviously someone with a broken arm or chest pain is going to get seen by a doctor faster than someone with a cough or sore thumb. And if I have a cold I can go to a walk-in-clinic and not have to worry about having money to pay for it, and the longest I've ever waited was 30 minutes at a walk in clinic. I have never had to wait longer than 2 hours in an emergency room to see a doctor and I live in Northern Ontario which is notorious for having shortages of doctors. There are some bad examples out there but there are a lot of really good examples out there that get ignored. I have never had a bad experience with any of the doctors/nurses I've seen nor had any member of my family or friends.

There are lots of complaints about wait times but that's mostly for elective surgeries or conditions that can wait without life threatening side effects, the emergency surgeries or debilitating conditions get dealt with immediately and take priority over the patients that can wait without serious complications.

And I don't think our doctors are underpaid. They make well into the 6 digits after taxes. If they expect to make into the 7 digits then that's just getting greedy. Where I live they have the nicest houses and the fanciest cars. I've never heard them complain about the money and I work beside them everyday.

And for medical care that's not covered under Provincial Health Care you have "benefits" from your employer (BLue Shield is the group I go through) that covers eye care, dental care, physiotherapy, prescription drugs, etc. And if you don't get benefits from work most places will charge less if they know that. When I was a student and didn't get benefits from work my dentist would charge me half of what he normally would. And if you don't get benefits from work and you can't afford to pay out of pocket for dental/drugs etc. you can sign up for the "Trillium fund" which helps low income people out in these situations.

The system may not be perfect but when is anything ever perfect. People will complain about everything! And besides, take care of yourself and keep yourself healthy and you won't need the health care system!

girlwhohashomeworkonhealthcaresystems on March 28, 2011:

WOW, this really helped! thanks ! (:

wellness4all on March 15, 2011:

I was wondering what provinces require a premium. Also, in Canada are you provided with any type of disability while you wait for a surgery. I know there is good workers compensation, but what if you do not have a job.

maggiemae (author) on March 06, 2011:

We buy Mexican auto insurance before we cross into Mexico because Canadian and US insurers will not cover us in Mexico. You do not want to be involved in an auto accident in Mexico without some insurance. The insurance should also include some coverage for legal representation.

Evan on February 13, 2011:

quick question:

why were you purchasing American auto insurance on your roadtrip to mexico?

Alexander Silvius from Portland, Oregon on February 09, 2011:

I wish more people like you would write about the Canadian health care system. There is a lot of emotional hype against socialized medicine in the US, and although I am still on the fence about it, when you compare the long wait lines for treatment in Canada, compare that to the eternal lines for treatment when you have no insurance down here!

Maybe it's because I was born Dutch (lived most of my life in California), but I would feel a lot better about my finances and medical treatment if I lived in Canada. I do not mind if my taxes go to help everybody equally, I really don't understand why a country with resources as great as the US doesn't have socialized medicine.

Americans are rightly afraid of government control, and that is the only reason not to have it. I value my freedom.

Thanks for your comments on my hub concerning this issue by the way, sorry it took me so long to visit.

canadiangirl on January 10, 2011:

Although our healthcare system is not perfect I would not have it any other way. We have very good doctors in Canada with very few bad doctors. In the province of Ontario to see a specialist you do need a referral from your general practitioner however if you have difficulty receiving a referal from your GP you have the ability to go to a doctor who will be willing to get you to the specialist of your choice. We are taxed heavily however mostly on consumer goods but we have free healthcare and free education - our roads and services are maintained through tax dollars. Very few medical expenses are exempt from the current public system - such as optional medical services and cosmetic surgery, dental care and eye care for adults (children are covered for basic eye care and dental care in the public healthcare system). Although Canadians may complain about some aspects of our healthcare such as long waits for specialists or nonurgent medical procedures we have a great system that not only works for the majority of the general population but also for those with preexisting health conditions and funny enough Americans residing in Canada. Our system is not bankrupt and although our population is a lot smaller than the US our GDP per capita is also a lot lower $$38,000 per annum versus $48,000. I dont think our wealthier canadians in general are all that fussed about paying for the poor and lowly. Americans that are more concerned with paying for the healthcare of illegal immigrants rather than the health of the general population are clearly misguided - it seems to me a culture of egotism is more responsible for the right-winged American fear of a public health system.

maggiemae (author) on December 04, 2010:

The Md's I know do very well here. I have a grandson who will be entering med school so I am very aware of all the costs and sacrifices of his parents. Oh the other hand, I know of professionals in other fields and their costs are also substantial. I have one relative, a lawyer, who is still paying off student loans after 10 years in practice. What it boils down to is that you have to personally want to spend your working life in the helping professions. I know that potential earnings are always a factor in career choices, but there are no guarantees. Much depends on performance. Post graduate education is not a ticket to riches.

americaruhlz on November 21, 2010:

Just to point out, there is a shortage of doctors because they would rather make more money like they can in the states. I'm diving into med school as we speak and I can assure you no one really would like to go to school for 8+ years to not make a signifacantly higher income, which you cant in a universal type health care system

maggiemae (author) on November 12, 2010:

I am sorry that I did not check these comments sooner. I could have given Jennifer some help with her paper.

Each province in Canada manages its own health care system as required by federal legislation. Some provinces require a monthly premium and others do not. Our province requires monthly premiums based on income. I think the monthly premium for a family is just over $100. Our health plan just covers basic health care and we also have prescription coverage with costs based on income. Some items not covered are cosmetic surgery, eyeglasses and hearing aids.

Part of the problem as I see it for such a plan in the US is financing of the costs. Canadians pay much higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol products, the provincial governments own nearly all the mineral rights and most of the timber is on crown lands. What that means is that the provincial governments are able to earn money from timber logged on government land and cash from development of mineral rights, e.g. mining, oil and gas. All of that helps to finance these social programs for the residents.

I will check back more often. The comments are interesting.

Beth on October 23, 2010: I have seen lots of americans saying how wonderful our health care is. I agree that we have excellent doctors and hospitals but we punish our sick. If a person gets sick they may lose everything. Even if they can afford the insurace and the insurace company cannot find a way to weasel their way out of paying, the co-pays, deductables, non-covered services, out of network anything, and increases in premiums (due to having gotten sick) can cost them their home, their ability to send their children to college and any financial security that they had stored up for their future/retirement. So, they might SURVIVE their illness...but they wont have much of a life left to live anyway. Oh, and they will probably have to work 2-3 jobs afterwards. Health insurance in the USA is enough to make a person sick...ironically. PS...if your health insurance company does make you sick, it is probably caused by a pre-existing condition and not covered by the insurance.

Jeniffer on October 21, 2010:

I am working on a school report paper. Could you please give me more information on your health care system? Like do you have to pay a monthly premium or it a health card given to everyone from the government? Does the health card cover drugs or do you have to have a different drug card? How much does the drug card cost and what does it cover? If everyone is given a health card and doesn't have to pay for it how does the government afford this? I heard that Canada sales tax is like 17% to cover the government paying for health care is this true? All the information you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

maggiemae (author) on June 06, 2010:

I agree although sometimes the waits for diagnostic procedures are annoying.

I think that triage in hospital emergency rooms should be improved. In military triage injured soldiers are assessed and if they are in pain, but not seriously wounded they are given pain medication until they can be tended by the doctors. This should only apply when people who are obviously injured.

schoolchick on June 02, 2010:

first, thanks for the article, helped me a lot with a paper im doing. Canadian vs Us health care systems. so thanks... secondly the points of view with all the different comments are interesting, personally i do like the canadian health care system, i like being able to go into a hospital with a broken arm and not have to pay cash for it at all. However, the waits are very long. In the er they should at least give pain killers to the people that need them a lot sooner. I was waiting in the er, with both bones in my arm broken and just about sticking out of the skin. They wouldn't give me pain killers for 3 hours of waiting there. Painful experience that took about 8 hours just to get x rays. got moved to a different room instead of the waiting room so i could fall asleep with my arm at least in a sling. So the wait is terrible but at least i didn't need to come up with money for x-rays and the cast and doctor costs and the costs of the drug to put me under. I dont know, its my opinion that the wait is most of the time better then the big costs....

Charlie Buddy on April 01, 2010:

Whoops nevermind i agree and get what your saying with your last little bit of your post.

Charlie Buddy on April 01, 2010:

Dont agree at all.

maggiemae (author) on March 22, 2010:

We have had just opposite experience with our health plan in BC. Besides the reforms that have been passed now by the US congress are not socialized medicine. There appears to be an expansion of medicaid. My sister-in-law in California died due to poor care when she was on medicaid.

I don't think that any one of us can generalize about health care delivery systems. My husband had prompt excellent care for colon cancer and is still around. My parents lived into their 90's thanks to BC Medical.

Even Mexico has public health care, it isn't up to US or Canadian standards, but it is better than nada.

I look at the provision of health care the same way I look at upkeep of our highways, police, firemen and other services that governments provide. Even if they are sometimes imperfect, free enterprise doesn't always provide better alternatives.

kabob on March 22, 2010:

The thing is we have medicare and medicaid. It doesn't work. We have options of getting medical care. It doesn't work. I have NO faith in our government that they can run healthcare for all without screwing it up like they do everything else. Every time they get their hands on something, they screw it up. The right and the left are so worried about being the ones that are "right" that they can't agree on anything, so why should I have confidence in them??

I have seen Canada's healthcare system first hand. My children and husband are dual citizens. And we've had personal experience with wait times on major issues, Cancer in both cases. And Medical screw ups. My husbands sister AND his father. So You will never convince me that the Canadian system is better.

There are other ways to legislate pre-existing condition clauses out of insurances hands other than Socialized medicine. Everyone seems to think that is the only way. Well its not.

Bailey on March 20, 2010:

This article really helped in a school project i am working on thanks.

maggiemae (author) on January 09, 2010:


Canadianmedschoolstudent on January 07, 2010:

As a Canadian I agree with you. Our medical system has many positives and personally I love it.

However, it is far from perfect. We do have long wait times for routine surgeries - my mother had to wait four months to have her gall bladder removed. We also have understaffed hospitals and long wait times in the ER's and at walk in clinics. But those who need help get what they need and never once is their economic standing questioned. Diagnosis and treatment is fast for those requiring it to be quick and rapid - don't mistake that.

It's time for the feds and provincial governments to step up and put some more funding into educating more doctors and nurses and building more hospitals and obtaining more technology to decrease wait times to give the canadian medical system an increasingly positive image.

maggiemae (author) on December 16, 2009:

My son has now found a group policy option with less coverage for less cost for his family. His group plan insurer just increased the premiums on his previous plan by 41%.

Although we have excellent coverage in BC it does not pay much out of the country so we have travel health insurance companies to negotiate with. They have co-pays and all kinds of rules about what will or will not be covered and when they will pay. All very foreign to us as we are used to medical insurance that pays for necessary care and we don't have to worry about going bankrupt.

x2bate on December 13, 2009:

Interesting that you son pays $900/ month in premiums yet has 10K deductible. Does he have significant health problems? I'm in the States, I have a 3K deductible and pay $500/ month for a policy I buy myself as I am self employed. Oh, BTW, that policy also covers MY WIFE and 2 KIDS. !! Lots of misinformation on both sides of the border.

maggiemae (author) on December 10, 2009:

To justahighschoolkid - You sound sharp enough to me. Yes, many people could beg for help from doctors if they don't have the funds to pay. If I were living in the US with a sick child and no insurance, you can be assured that I would do nearly anything to get them the attention needed. I would probably go without myself rather than plead for care.

I personally don't have that problem as I am covered by a public provincial health plan.

justahighschoolkid on December 10, 2009:

In school this past week we had to watch sicko and it really bashed the American health care system. I promise you, that's not what its like every where in the US. Sure there will always be places that are just fro profit, but i think most Americans will agree that no doctor will refuse to help someone in dire need of medical attention just cuz of their lack of insurance. I think our health care system should be treated more like a business, increase competition for low prices by allowing one to get insurance from any state. Have doctors be able to choose if they want malpractice insurance (which they most certainly should!) and then the malpractice insurance companies will have to lower prices to compete and keep clients. But hey what do I know? I'm just an uninsured high school kid living in America sitting in a public policy class.

maggiemae (author) on October 26, 2009:

I suggest that anyone who wants or does not want a public health care plan in the US contact their congressional representatives. Senators and congressmen pay attention to letters. Right now they are being influenced mainly by lobbyists paid by insurance and pharmaceutical corporations. If you don't want public health care, be aware that someday when you are over 65 you will have public health care under one of the largest "socialized medical plans" in the world, US Medicare.

maggiemae (author) on August 18, 2009:

Reread your comment and I somewhat object to the reference to a North American Union. I personally don't know of one Canadian citizen who would tolerate losing our independence.

My only reason for this blog was to counter act some of the outright lies and misconceptions regarding our health system.

BudHasherdashery from Metro New York on July 29, 2009:

I think you hit on a BIG DIFFERENCE at the end of your article between America and Canada in considering Socialized Medicine...Population. What might be feasible and even affordable for a country with the population of Canada, is not so easy here in America...our population of scum Illegal Aliens (they are criminals) is almost as great as the population of Canada.

We changed our health insurance carrier when we had to get a referral from the family doctor to see a specialist...cancer runs in my wife's family, so ANY WAIT is simply unacceptable, and further, putting families in a position where they cannot get insurance for any services offered by the Socialized Medicine system is unacceptable. I don't want my wife operated on by a man/woman that graduated Med School with a C average, I want a world class doctor, and world class facilities.

You are happy with Socialized Medicine, but most of us here in America don't want it, and don't want it forced down our throats in the name of the North American Union.

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