{ thinking out loud about the things i care about }

Debunking Canadian Health Care Myths

Thank you, Denver Post, for writing this article so I don’t have to. I think probably most of the Americans on my flist are for some kind of health care reform so y’all probably don’t need it, but if you know someone clinging to these myths I’d be ever so grateful if you’d pass this along.

I’m pretty fucking sick and tired of the nonsense being spouted about Canadian provincial heath care, and I know I’m not the only one. The “facts” are either being spun so far out of shape as to hardly resemble the truth or are complete lies. The Republican party can bite me.

I would like to particularly highlight the following, emphasis mine:

Myth: Canada’s government decides who gets health care and when they get it.
While HMOs and other private medical insurers in the U.S. do indeed make such decisions, the only people in Canada to do so are physicians. In Canada, the government has absolutely no say in who gets care or how they get it. Medical decisions are left entirely up to doctors, as they should be.

There are no requirements for pre-authorization whatsoever. If your family doctor says you need an MRI, you get one. In the U.S., if an insurance administrator says you are not getting an MRI, you don’t get one no matter what your doctor thinks — unless, of course, you have the money to cover the cost.

Myth: Canadians are paying out of pocket to come to the U.S. for medical care.
Most patients who come from Canada to the U.S. for health care are those whose costs are covered by the Canadian governments. If a Canadian goes outside of the country to get services that are deemed medically necessary, not experimental, and are not available at home for whatever reason (e.g., shortage or absence of high tech medical equipment; a longer wait for service than is medically prudent; or lack of physician expertise), the provincial government where you live fully funds your care. Those patients who do come to the U.S. for care and pay out of pocket are those who perceive their care to be more urgent than it likely is.

Our health care costs less. The care we get is decided by doctors, not the government and bloody well not by some sort of death board or whatever the fuck they’re calling it now. If a doctor says I need something, the province pays for it, no questions or inquiries or exceptions or nonsense about “pre-existing conditions”. The only time we wait for care is when it’s non-urgent specialist care or elective surgery, and the wait times are almost always entirely reasonable. We have lower mortality rates than the US across the board.

I would also like to highlight this quote from demotu because I think she said it better than I could:

…[Canadians], in the majority, lack the foundation of “individual over society”. Rather, the welfare of the whole of society is superior to the rights of the individual. What does that mean? Well, it means we expect our rich to give up the right to snap their fingers for instant care so that every member of society can have access to equally good medical care. … All of the arguments against socialized heath care essentially boil down to “but my right to get whatever I can pay for is more important than equality”. I’m not going to say that’s the wrong mindset, but it’s not mine and not one I want governing the country I live in.


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