Posted by politicalpartypooper on July 6, 2009

This is the kind of story the Public Option is up against.  Shona Holmes of Ontario, Canada needed brain surgery, fast.  After suffering from crushing headaches and vision problems, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor four years ago. She was told if it wasn’t removed, she could go blind or even die.

“My family doctor at that time tried to get me in to see an endocrinologist and a neurologist,” Holmes recalled. “It was going to be four months for one specialist and six months for the other.”  Shona turned to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, borrowed from family and friends along with adding a second mortgage, and paid $100,000 to have the surgery in America.

This is just one story, and although it is useful to Conservatives who are against any kind of Government option for health care, it is not indicative of Canada’s health care system as a whole.  Nevertheless, Conservatives will use it to strike fear in the hearts of Americans, whether it is acurate or not.  That’ politics.  If you want honesty, go to Kindergarten.

This, from the CNN story;

The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, asserted several times on the Senate floor last month that a government-run health insurance option, which President Obama and Democrats want, could lead to a government-controlled health care system like Canada’s. Watch McConnell talk about Canada’s health care system Video

McConnell singled out Kingston General Hospital in Ontario as a prime example of what Americans should be fearful of: staggering delays in treatment.

CNN went to Kingston General and played a DVD for its chief of staff Dr. David Zelt of McConnell slamming the hospital.

Zelt insists McConnell’s numbers — an average of 340 days wait time for knee replacements, 196 days for hip replacements — are an exaggeration.

“I find it very frustrating that someone of that stature would not really have true knowledge of the numbers he is actually quoting on things,” Zelt told us, saying the average wait time for a knee replacement is actually 109 days, and a hip replacement is 91 days. Video Watch Zelt talk about Canada’s health care system »

Canadian Sen. Hugh Segal, whom we met up with at Kingston’s picturesque waterfront, says his “fellow conservatives” to the south are dead wrong about Canada’s health care system.

“The notion that we have some bureaucrat standing next to every doctor between the patient and that doctor is a complete creation, there is no truth to that at all,” Segal said.”

Segal also said, “What you have is a longer life span, better outcomes and about one-third less costs. That’s what you have.”

Also from the CNN story;

Despite Shona Holmes’ horror story about her inability to get timely treatment for a brain tumor, Canadian officials and doctors insist most life-threatening cases are treated quickly.

Toronto’s Doug Wright can attest to that. The 40-year-old father of three young boys found out last month he has cancer — a tumor on his leg.

But he says he never had to wait more than five days to see a specialist or get a test. And from diagnosis to surgery, it will be just over a month.”

The reality of this health care debate is that one side will distort statistics and use every story possible to ignite fear for a government option in health insurance.  It’s sickening, when you get right down to the crux of the debate, which shows opponents of universal care and the Public Option to be the largest recipients of health insurer-lobbyist dollars.  The health care industry is spending nearly $1.4 Million per day to fight the Public option, and to fight reform.  Opponents of the Public Option are reaping huge rewards for protecting the industries that caused this mess.

So now it’s time to do a little dirty fighting of our own.  Here’s what’s really going on:

1.  Almost every opponent of the Public Option is receiving thousands of dollars from the health insurer industry; fact.

2.  The revolving door between Washington elected officials, and cushy, Good-old-boy lobbying jobs is alive and kicking.  From the Washington Post;

“Nearly half of the insiders previously worked for the key committees and lawmakers, including Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), debating whether to adopt a public insurance option opposed by major industry groups. At least 10 others have been members of Congress, such as former House majority leaders Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) and Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), both of whom represent a New Jersey pharmaceutical firm.”

3.  Those opponents are protecting an industry that frequently collects thousands of dollars in premiums from its victims, only to rescind their coverage for issues as simple as failing to return a signed document within thirty days, or contracting an illness that in some small way, might be tied to a “pre-existing” condition.

4.  Health insurers are explicit in their intent, they state regularly that they only want to insure healthy people; you know, people who won’t need to file claims.  Otherwise, their “protection” is more fickle than Cosa Nostra.  They use entire corporate departments to find ways to deny paying claims.

5.  Seventy percent of Americans support the Public Option.  Opponents of the Public Option lie, and tell whoever is listening, “The polling is clear; America just doesn’t want a Public Option”.

Conservatives and Blue Dog Democrats are BRIBED servants of the health insurance industry.  This is a fact.  You recall the old adage, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and smells like a duck, it’s a duck”.  Well, if it looks like bribery, walks like bribery, and smells like bribery, IT’S BRIBERY.

Our elected officials, YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, are ON THE TAKE for an industry that wants to force you to buy their insurance.

That’s what this debate is about. BRIBERY.

Don’t let them get away with it.



  1. Chuck Calvano said

    The biggest lie is that 47 million Americans (or 15%) are without health care. It’s just not true.

    And it ignores the fact that the remaining 320 million of us DO have health care. So, you think we should destroy one of the best national health care systems in the world for the 15%.

    In order to provide free health care for the (way less than) 47 million who are “not covered” you wish to ruin the care now received by 320 million. Yeah, that’s smart!


    • Joe said

      If government healthcare is so bad, why is it never up for debate in countries that have it? No politician or political groups in Canada, Europe or South and Central America ever consider scrapping their healthcare system. Why? Because the people of these countries would never accept a plan that would not be covered by the government.
      As far as Shona Holmes goes, I wuld be willing to bet that she is getting a nice paycheck from conservative groups in America to not only tell but embellish her story so that they could destroy any chance of a public healthcare system here.

      • David said

        Actually, the system in Canada is constantly being called into question. Shona Holmes case is not unique. Everyone in Canada has equal access to long waiting lines. Doug Wright’s case is more of the exception.

        That all being said, as a Canadian I appreciate that we have universal health care. Just keep in mind that it is not a panacea. It has major problems.

        Most people are extremely partisan when it comes to health care. It’s either the American way or it’s the Canadian way. If you’re for one, then the other is considered evil.

        The truth is, both systems have their strengths and their weaknesses.

        Non partisan thinking would take the best of both systems rather than stubbornly sticking to their preference (and taking shots at the other).

    • Joe said

      I would like to know where you get your information that 47 million uninsured is a lie. Must’ve heard it on Fox News so it must be true!
      Best healthcare system in the world? Maybe? If you can afford it. I tend to disagree, most reports put our healthcare system outside of the top 10 if not the top 30!
      When a doctor’s main priority is to accumulate as much wealth as possible it is unlikely that he is serving humane interests. Most doctors in America think of themselves as status symbols rather than healers whose purpose is to save lives and make the world a better place.

  2. Dee said

    No, I don’t believe Shona Holmes is getting some “paycheck” or embellishing her story. I’m Canadian and do totally believe in a public health care system. But basically here’s what happened. When this was instituted years and years ago everyone paid “something”..it was modest and affordable. Then some genius decided it should be 100% free. And it’s been downhill since then. Now the politicans in Canada do NOT dare to say we all have to contribute modestly. So what we had initially worked
    and that has to come back again. So yes, there are long waits for elective surgery. And NO…a child will never die because their parents don’t have the money. That doesn’t happen. What we all need is a public system that we contribute to..affordable…that works. It’s not rocket science. Our system here may be screwed up but I cannot accept that the U.S. has one where people die if they don’t have the money.

  3. Rob in Canada said

    Shona Holmes is the exception rather than the rule in Canada.

    I live in British Columbia. Anyone I know who has been seriously ill has been treated right away. The care was excellent. Nobody had to wait for a bean counter in an HMO to approve treatment.

    Of course there are waiting lists, as we don’t have unlimited resources. However, Canadian doctors (not administrators and bean counters, you’ll note) are very good a prioritizing cases.

    American Republicans like McConnell are spewing propaganda to protect their rich friends in the HMOs. Americans should embrace a national health care system that doesn’t rely on the private sector and force ordinary people who get sick into the poor house. All of Europe and Canada can’t be wrong in this approach.

    • Mike said

      All of Europe and Canada can’t be wrong… ah, ya they can. Just look at their countries. America has been the greatest country in the world for the last 50+ years. It has proved that liberties, freedoms and democracy builds a stronger nation. EVERYONE has the opportunity to be successful and provide a better life for their children. However, we have a bunch of socialist who think that EVERYONE, including those who don’t want to work for it, should be given the same privledges of hard working people. And if you work hard and acheive success then you are required to spread your wealth, regardless of what you had to give up to get there. What’s important is that we all eat the crums from ground… but at least everyone has crums right?

      • Anne said

        “EVERYONE has the opportunity to be successful and provide a better life for their children. However, we have a bunch of socialist who think that EVERYONE, including those who don’t want to work for it, should be given the same privledges of hard working people. And if you work hard and acheive success then you are required to spread your wealth, regardless of what you had to give up to get there.”
        You are not correct, if the child is denied health care or quality elementary and secondary school, because his parents can’t afford it, that child is denied the opportunity to be successful in life. It’s not his fault that his parents are bums or slobs. It’s fine to judge his parents for what they have done with their lives but not the child.

        You don’t know what it means “socialized” or “socialist”, if you knew you wouldn’t mistaken them, or you wouldn’t equalize Canadian or French Healthcare with what’s happening in communist countries like Russia, China etc. You are being brain washed by the republican party

    • Rob in Canada said

      Yeah Mike, we have liberties, freedoms and democracy hear in Canada. In a lot of ways, Canada is a much stronger country than the United States. As one prime example, we are not a bunch of gun happy crazies who think it’s their God-given right to pack a weapon wherever we go. The European countries don’t have that problem either. As a result, Canada and Europe have a much lower murder rate, and rate of gun crimes.

      Also Mike, if you ever get sick, and I mean really sick, how are you going to feel when you has to re-mortgage the house and go begging to the in-laws and relatives for a loan? And how are you going to like doing that when you try to deal with the really serious illness?

      And if you are wealthy and don’t have to worry about that, you should understand that 98% of the population is not wealthy and would be devastated financially by major illness. Or are you so cold that you just don’t care about ordinary folks?

      • Speakup said

        Thank you Rob, and I’m one of many, many American’s who agree with you.

        America is now being controlled by special interests and they’re destroying the country. It’s odd how so many around the world can see what’s going on but a certain segment here in the USA can’t. You know, those who are happy they’ve got theirs. It’s a major flaw in their character, but it’s there.

        In the end, we know we will win and take our country back. I don’t think many of those on the right realize just how many emerging countries will not deal with the USA, we’re not allowed to sit at their table and they don’t want anything to do with the American dollar. They know that these American corporations are very dangerous and need to be banned from their countries, this includes the very powerful Health Care Insurance and Pharma.

        One would think that upon hearing that 75% of bankruptcy’s filed today are filed by people who became ill, had insurance, but the insurance did not cover them. Every day we hear story’s of good people who were tricked. These insurance companies know what they’re doing and they’re playing the numbers to their benefits so they can keep making billions in profits.

        Amierica is sick.

  4. Mike said

    A country of 33 million covered… compared to 300 million, and how many illegal that will never pay into the system. Many of these countries would like to get out of these systems, however they are tied to them now… No, actually, they are slaves to the system now.

    Everyone keeps throwing out this 47 million uninsured… So we have a system that general works, could use a few fixes, but works for 250 million people… of that 47 million, 15 million are illeagl and will never or could care less to pay into the system. Of that 32 million you have how many million that may not have insurance today but will in 3 – 6 months when they get a job. That is a revolving number that changes as people change jobs, start businesses on their own, etc. Can this system be tweeked, YES! Privatize it, just like car insurance and you will see more options and a more affordable system.

    However to scrap our system, which is eventually what will happen is a socialist mentality… and socialism has proven again and again to not be a better system then democracy… you know the concept that our forefathers put together in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.

    You tell me what government run program has been such a success in the United States… then maybe you can convince me.

    • Anne said

      We are slaves to our system. My father can’t look for a better job, because at 55 with a history of some health problems, he’s scared of loosing health insurance. So instead of making 30/hour and paying higher taxes for the benefit of all, he’s making 15/hour and pays additional 100 per health insurance per week. You say, he can find a job, but I say it’s very difficult to find jobs with health insurance in many occupational fields. We need all types of occupations to make the system work. You can say doctors are more important than janitors, but unless doctors are willing to clean the hospitals the system won’t work without the janitors, and therefore we should pay them and provide healthcare as well.

      Additionally, you refer to those 15milion of illegals that don’t pay for healthcare and don’t receive healthcare through insurance. That’s right, they don’t receive healthcare through insurance, but they do receive FREE healthcare in county hospitals. They usually have the money for the doctor visits, but they don’t have to pay, because they don’t work legally, therefore they can claim that they are poor, and therefore they can go to county hospitals receive healthcare for free. True it’s not quality care, but it costs, and YOU and I pay for it. My problem is, if I pay for their care, why can they receive free care and I cannot. Because I pay for them, I think I should be entitled to the minimum that they are receiving; don’t you think? And that’s what we are talking about, if the system will provide some basic care, I think everyone should be entitled to it, everyone who pays.

  5. James said

    Well, I can only relay my own experiences in both countries (I lived in Chicago (Evanston) for almost 10 years and now live in a Toronto suburb). In the USA, I paid about $800 a month for comprehensive medical insurance, in Canada, I pay none. My personal taxes are lower in Canada (although my mortgage interest is not deductible) but I have absolutely no medical expenses whatsoever. Recently, my wife had a heart attack, she was at the hospitable within 15 minutes of the 911 call; a team of 4 doctors and nurses descended upon her the moment she hit the emergency room, and they dealt so immediately with the attack they pretty much stopped it in its tracks (using some new clot busting drug) in the following half hour. Within 36 hours afterwards, she had an angioplasty and then the hospital took care of the nutrion counselling program, the followup exercise program, and all the followup scans and cardiologish visits. Our costs? Zero. As for the pile of drugs she has to take, retail cost in the USA appears to be about $750 or so each group refill. We pay $18 for them (the pharmacists here can tell you the “retail” price). In the 9 yrs we have been back in Canada, I have visited emerg for myself or a family member at least half a dozen times. The worst wait was at Sick Kids Hospital in downtown Toronto (they triaged each patient right away but I found the subsequent wait unacceptable of at least 2 hrs unacceptable) however every other attendance to an emergency resulted in wait times never exceeding 45 minutes. My last Chicago experience (admittedly 10 yrs ago) I showed up at emerg with a broken wrist, waited approx 5 hrs, and even with my coverage, still ended up with a bill almost $2K, and also followup costs for physio, etc.

    Sorry, with 10 yrs experience in each system, Canada beats the USA hands down. It is not even a contest. Yes, there can be waits, we read about them, on occasion patients get sent elswhere when capacity is reached, and it is distressing when that occurs (which fortunately is rarer and rarer and usually for something unusual) but such cirucumstances are not the norm, and here everyone is covered, for almost everything, at a fraction of the cost.

    I feel bad for Ms Holmes if this was the experience she had – the moment you get involved with a bureaucracy, no matter where it is you know you are going to have problems. I think being in a small city (Kingston is only about 45000 people) probably did not help. I would like to know how many years ago it was as there have been notable improvements in the last couple of years.

    There is always room for improvement, but it really is no contest between the two systems. Canada wins hands down.

  6. Reality said

    Well, well, well. The GOP propaganda machine is in full steam ahead mode isn’t it? Now we’re going to hear and endless barrage of isolated and greatly exaggerated incidental stories about how Canada’s and the U.K.’s health delivery system is so “bad.” (and by “bad” they really mean free to all). But if that were the case (and my Canadian and British friends assure me it isn’t), why does Canada have a healthier population, with a mortality rate that is a fraction of the U.S.’s? The cold, hard truth – the truth that our for-mega-profits health care industry doesn’t want us to know – is that the U.S. has the one of the worst, the most wasteful, and the most expensive health care system on the planet. The only motivation for continuing with our current system is pure greed. Making huge profits off of the suffering of others has always been good business.

    • Robert said

      The Canadian Health Care system is not perfect but it does work very well for the vast majority of the populous. Certain poster like Nanny Az would have you believe that is broken beyond repair.
      Believe me if you get cancer or are in a car accident in Canada you will you first rate care second to none in the world and if the system is over burdened at the time you will be sent to a facility that can look after you as fast as possible, and if that means going to the States then you will be sent their all cost payed for.
      Posters like Nanny Az are nothing but right wing nut jobs that hate this country and will say and do anything to undermine this great country.
      I had a brother with brain cancer and could not be looked after right away because their was not a surgeon available to perform the surgery in a timely manner, so he was sent to the Mayo Clinic, we had to pay up front but were reimbursed for all the cost when he recovered and returned to Canada. Both countries have a lot offer and I think if the Americans put their mind to it you will have a great outcome as well

  7. Al said

    Instead of judging and arguing about other countries’ systems, why not take the best of all systems and use that as a starting point for the American Health Care system. Maybe then you could have the best health care in the world.

  8. Robert said

    What the story didn’t mention that the $100,000 dollars would be fully reimbursed by the Canadian Health Care system so actually it didn’t cost her a cent.
    I did not see that in the story I wonder why?

    • nanny az said

      P.S. Completely NOT true that the $100,000 would be reimbursed! I have no idea where you got that information, but the Canadian government does not cover those types of procedures.

      • Robert said

        The Canada health act which you know nothing about will pay the whole shot just because that lady hasn’t applied for her money is her problem.
        My brother went to the Mayo clinic just like her and every cent was covered the Canadian Health Care system. So to say it is not true is a lie and a big one at that.

  9. Craig said


    Americans spend 15% of their gdp on healthcare, Canada spends 10%. A fact often ignored, americans get alot less bang for their buck.

  10. Yomomma said

    False analogies! Why do these GOP pimped tales of woe always somehow ASSUME that the patient in question would have received timely care in the USA? Why not provide a few contrasting horror stories about denials, delays, bankruptcy and business beareaucrats making medical decisions for the doctors?

    If you’re going to tell a horror story to compare the Canadian system to the US model, then you should find the worst story the US system can offer, and I’ll bet that we have far worse horror stories than the Canadians.

    We all have heard the stories about the people who had legitimate health claims denied and the time they had to spend fighting the beareaucrats at the insurance company to have their procedures covered only to die before they could have the procedure actually performed. Isn’t that worse than, “It hurt, and I could have to wait a few months…”?

    I also love the barely underlying subtext of the conservative argument: providing coverage for everybody will cause delays! (so it’s better if the otherwise uninsured would just go off and quietly die instead of clogging the system). So the lives of poor people are worth less than an inconvenience to the rich for elective procedures. Their argument boils down to the ‘good’ thing (from a conservative standpoint) about our system is that it rations care based on wealth rather than on need. We live in a very sick society my friends.

    Oh, and socialism is not the opposite of democracy. A democratic socialism functions very well just north of us. Nearly ALL of our allies have somewhat socialist societies, and in fact major facets of our system throughout the golden years following World War 2 would be decried as socialist today. Arguing that socialism is incompatable with democracy only shows how ignorant you are, and taints the rest of your argument with obvious ignorance.

    • nanny az said

      The difference is … in the USA at least you have the choice of what health coverage to have. Here in canada there is only one choice … and private facilities are outlawed in most provinces!

      • Robert said

        Nanny Az you really have a hard time with the truth
        Private facilities are not outlawed in Canada you can have all the private health care you want just don’t ask for public money to run them that is the truth!

  11. US Citizen said

    Ruin healthcare for 320 million? You are assuming that the 320 million are good. They might think they’re good, but that doc they forgot to sign or whatever and then they’re another statistic. Mean while all the other money we are dishing out for copays, deductibles, and extra for pre-existing conditions.

    The only good people of the 320 million are the rich and how many million is that?

  12. nanny az said

    I am canadian and can tell you that Shona’s story is NOT uncommon. A very good friend of mine works at the one of the only MRI clinics in the province and she tells me that there is a 6 month wait for MRIs (that means that if your doctor suspects cancer or needs to rule out a tumor it will be 6 months before they even take a look). My father has prostate cancer and the wait for surgery was 4 months (and when the surgery finally occurred, the cancer had spread). I could tell you story, after story, after story like this. I can also tell you that I pay more for health care in canada than I ever paid in the USA (where I lived for almost 10 years) and the health care in the USA was better by leaps and bounds. That is not to say that we don’t have great doctors in Canada b/c we do … it is just to say that the system is broken. Hospitals are built with new beds, but months later the beds are closed b/c the province cannot afford to staff them. There must be a middle ground that would work for both places. But to my friends in the USA I say … don’t trade what you have for our model! And as a Canadian, I pray that your system remains private so that when canadians need urgent help, at least there is a place we can go … even if we have to pay for it

    • Robert said

      Who are you Stockwell Day!
      Everything you just posted is a huge lie, If you don’t like the truth shut up!

  13. Speakup said

    The word is getting out that 3 Health Care proposals are going to be handed to the President. They’re each nearly identical and they all copy what Boston Massachusetts currently has.

    FACT Massachusetts is being censored from the rest of the USA. Those who are trying to stop us from hearing how bad it is are not allowed to speak.

    One example of this mandatory Health Care plan is that when one dies they will seize your home. How do you like them apples?

    masshealthlawtrugh.org – The site was launched yesterday, they’re still tweaking.

  14. jacksmith said


    It’s official. America and the World are now in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. A World EPIDEMIC with potential catastrophic consequences for ALL of the American people. The first PANDEMIC in 41 years. And WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES will have to face this PANDEMIC with the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed World.


    We spend over twice as much of our GDP on healthcare as any other country in the World. And Individual American spend about ten times as much out of pocket on healthcare as any other people in the World. All because of GREED! And the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare system in America.

    And while all this is going on, some members of congress seem mostly concern about how to protect the corporate PROFITS! of our GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT NATIONAL DISGRACE. A PRIVATE FOR PROFIT DISGRACE that is in fact, totally valueless to the public health. And a detriment to national security, public safety, and the public health.

    Progressive democrats the Tri-Caucus and others should stand firm in their demand for a robust public option for all Americans, with all of the minimum requirements progressive democrats demanded. If congress can not pass a robust public option with at least 51 votes and all robust minimum requirements, congress should immediately move to scrap healthcare reform and request that President Obama declare a state of NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY! Seizing and replacing all PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance plans with the immediate implementation of National Healthcare for all Americans under the provisions of HR676 (A Single-payer National Healthcare Plan For All).

    Coverage can begin immediately through our current medicare system. With immediate expansion through recruitment of displaced workers from the canceled private sector insurance industry. Funding can also begin immediately by substitution of payroll deductions for private insurance plans with payroll deductions for the national healthcare plan. This is what the vast majority of the American people want. And this is what all objective experts unanimously agree would be the best, and most cost effective for the American people and our economy.

    In Mexico on average people who received medical care for A-H1N1 (Swine Flu) with in 3 days survived. People who did not receive medical care until 7 days or more died. This has been the same results in the US. But 50 million Americans don’t even have any healthcare coverage. And at least 200 million of you with insurance could not get in to see your private insurance plans doctors in 2 or 3 days, even if your life depended on it. WHICH IT DOES!

    If President Obama has to declare a NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY to rescue the American people from our healthcare crisis, he will need all the sustained support you can give him. STICK WITH HIM! He’s doing a brilliant job.



    Join the fight.

    Contact congress and your representatives NOW! AND SPREAD THE WORD!

    God Bless You

    Jacksmith – WORKING CLASS

    • Speakup said

      Keep passing the word

      WDTW AM Progressive Talk Radio 1310 on your radio dial, or you can listen over your computer. TURN IT ON. GET INFORMED! RELIABLE RESOURCE. STAY UPDATED.

      *Bill Press, broadcasting right out of Washington DC, GREAT
      *Stephanie Miller, Laugh yourself sick, sharp as a knife
      *Thom Hartmann – Scholarly, knows his stuff, dare anyone to challenge him
      *Ed Schutlz – My favorite, An American Hero, kicks tail like nobody else – Blue Blooded American
      *Ron Regan – Smart, diverse, easy to listen to, and yes he’s the former President’s son. He’s no slacker and best of all, he’s a lefty

      Lastly – Go to PDAmerica.org — Sign the petition, or join a local chapter, They’re national, 20 million strong and have 15,000 Medical Doctors who are PDAmerica backers that support Single Payer HR676. Incredible resource and you do not have to pay them money. I’m trilled to tell you that they do not harass for moneY. Get emails from them, nnow what is going on. Do not let anyone tell you we cannot have Single Payer, do not listen. Stay the course. This is our country. We’re the boss.

      • Mike said

        I love that new term “Progressive”. HA! As if they are coming up with something new… Hello guys! It’s the same ol’ failed liberal policies for the last 40+ years!

  15. Bruce said

    I have no doubt that many in the Canadian healthcare business are professionals and provide good quality care. I can’t say the U.S. system is perfect, but as mentioned in Dr. Zelt’s letter to Senator McConnell (you can Google it), neither is the Canadian system. It comes down to a matter of preference of choice. I simply prefer to be able to choose my doctor, my hospital, and my insurer.

    Two points that bother me in this news item. Please bear with me as I step through them.

    You can have a patient from the hospital with abdominal pain as an example, and you can run him through every high-tech equipment, CT scan, MRIs — it’s unlimited,” Zelt said. “But then you have to take a step back and look at that. What’s the cost of doing those types of investigations, and what’s the value really added to the patient?”

    Hmmm. So you can get the tests, but does the doctor really order them? There is a cost/benefit analysis going on here and if you’re not worth the cost, there is no test ordered. Sounds like healthcare rationing to me and I’m not one to agree to moving in that direction.

    Still, people can wait for months, or even years, for elective surgery. Wright’s friend Rick Hession has a heart condition that could cause a stroke, but he has a three-month wait or more for an operation to help correct it. He says he can’t exercise the way he would like to until he gets the surgery, but he’s willing to wait. He calls it a small price to pay for free health coverage for all Canadians.

    Let me get this right. First, Mr. Hession has a heart condition that can cause a stroke and he’s willing to wait for treatment? Next, he believes this treatment that he’s willing to wait for is free?

    To that second point, let’s see how ‘free’ that treatment is.

    Let’s assume Mr. Hession makes $50,000 CAD per year. That’s equivalent to $43,000 per year here in the U.S., which is slightly below the median income level. For that 50K, Mr. Hession will pay $8149 in federal taxes and $3432 in provincial taxes. That’s a tax rate of 23.2%. A U.S. citizen will pay (after individual and standard deductions) 8.2% in taxes. Mr. Hession believes his healthcare is ‘free.’ He’s paying almost three times the U.S. rate in taxes!

    Now, admittedly, the U.S. rate does not include ‘free’ health care, but are we to believe that we have to triple our taxes to pay for health care? I suspect some in Washington (and on this comments page) believe this.

    In relation to Mr. Hession’s first point about willing to wait for treatment for his heart ailment, I have a question. How ‘free’ is his funeral going to be?

  16. Mike said

    I love a good debate! That’s why I go to leftist web sites, why preach to the choir. You know what I continue to hear again and again from the left on this issue, as well as just about every other issue they stand for. They think the government is the answer to all their problems. Who promised you utopia? The constituation never promised a government that was going to fix all your problems. Can it be better… YES! However the founding fathers of this great nation knew that government was not the answer, IT’S THE PROBLEM! As far as, here comes the GOP propaganda machine… Yep here it comes. You know what I want from the government. To stay out of our lives! The more the government gets involved with programs, healthcare and government handouts, the worst situations get for the citizens… Do I agree with the GOP 100%, NO, and Bush and the Republicans the last 8 years cured me of being a Republican… however conservatism has continued to prove itself time and time again. I thought we went through all this with Carter, I guess it takes a couple generations to pass before being brainwashed again. And just because we have a President that is cool and carasmatic doesn’t mean he knows what is right and good for our country. For as much mud as the Democrats threw the last 8 years they have looked like complete FOOLS in 6 months. I mean idiots time and time again!!! And then push the buck off as it was ALL the Republicans fault. Ah, why is Dodd in the fore front of this health care! This idiot is a big reason for the sub-prime lending issue that got us to where we are today!!! Oh that’s right, they have to do something to boost his ratings as they hit rock bottom… AND OUR EXPENSE!

    Is it a shame to see a child die! Yes it is, and I’ve seen it. Is the government going to stop this, no. Is it a shame when someone who is 60+ years old can’t find the job he had when he was 40 and has to result to lesser means… Yep! My dad is in that situation! But you know what ya do! You don’t cry for the government to fix all your problems, you make the best of a situation, pray if you’re spiritual… and pick yourself up and move forward. You would be suprised what you’ll find when you put the effort towards it. But we have a nation brandwash into thinking the government is their answer. Katriana proved that wrong! There are alot worse countries and people around the world who can’t even eat! I mean have nothing to eat!!! And we have people in this country whinning because they have to wait 30 minutes longer in a line to get a plane.

    People… the government is not your answer! And more times then not when they get their hands in it they mess it up!

  17. Mike,

    I’m an independent who shies away from big government like the plague. You conservatives are fine ones to talk about small government. Tell me how that worked out for George W Bush? We had the largest increase in government in decades. And don’t even get me started on broken promises by both parties.

    But that’s not the point. When the private sector has been given every chance to do what is right, and has refused to do so at every turn, it’s time for government to step in. I am a financial adviser, and part of my practice is working with my business clients on their health insurance. I have to tell you, Mike, I rue it. It disgusts me.

    A common letter sent to my clients? “Thank you for your application. We are happy to welcome your family to ***(name the insurer). However, due to your history of high blood pressure, we are unable to offer coverage to you. We are only offering this coverage to the rest of your family. Thank you, and again, welcome!”

    Where does Mr. “History of high blood pressure” go to get coverage, Mike? Got an answer? There isn’t one; and I know that for a fact. He goes uninsured, and because he does, your fine insurance policy ends up paying higher costs when he collapses with a heart attack and has no money to pay for the care he needs. That heart attack might have been avoided had he had the insurance to help him get preventive care, but since he didn’t, his case progressed to the need for drastic, life saving care. You pay for that denial from the insurance company, Mike; don’t ever fall for the lie that you don’t. There isn’t even a penny of health care in this nation that isn’t already paid for one way or the other. Someone foots the bill. Because a person can’t get preventive care, often that bill is much higher than it ever needed to be.

    It’s too late for the insurers to start wanting reform now. They’ve had decades to fix it; what makes you think they’ll deal with America genuinely now? Nothing has changed. Instead of making the changes necessary all along, they’ve chosen to bribe our elected officials.

    Doesn’t that tell you enough to gauge what their true motive is?

    It’s simple, Mike. Health insurers don’t want to insure people who actually need care. I see it every day! I see policies rescinded for no more reason than for the first time in five years, an insurer will actually have to pay out a claim. For those who need individual coverage (small business owners) it’s even worse.

    Go here to find out just how wonderful insurers treat small business owners: https://politicalpartypooper.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/meet-dan-small-business-owner-and-the-reason-we-need-a-public-option/

    I understand the conservative point of view, and even the fear of government takeover of a so-called private affair. But that private sector has had decades to make improvements, and even under threat of Congress, has refused to. Do you really think that forcing every American to buy their “insurance” is the right solution? Even with government subsidies, do you really want our taxes to be paying private insurers who have already stated that they will never stop their practice of rescission? Do you really want to waste our tax dollars on that?

    Your health insurer horror story is just around the corner, Mike. Give it time. They’ll fuck you, someday, too.

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