Healthcare battle: Canada vs USA

We hear a lot in Canada about problems in our health care system. What we don't often hear about are the success stories. Here's an article from Yes Magazine, written from the US point of view and comparing their system with Canada's public one:
the United States has been the unwitting control subject in a 30-year, worldwide experiment comparing the merits of private versus public health care funding. For the people living in the United States, the results of this experiment with privately funded health care have been grim. The United States now has the most expensive health care system on earth and, despite remarkable technology, the general health of the U.S. population is lower than in most industrialized countries. Worse, Americans' mortality rates--both general and infant--are shockingly high.
Food for thought as the Canadian system continues to come under attack by private interests.

Posted by dustin on January 17, 2007 with category tags of

69 comments
I would imagine that the Health Care system in the US is better than Canada's for people with money.

For people without money, it's way better in Canada.

It averages out in Canada's favour.
   comment by Bryan (#22) on January 17, 2007


Well, the article seems to argue otherwise. It makes a really weird racial distinction, which according to the article is how the information was gathered in the past, and says that the "presumably richer" white babies still have a higher infant mortality rate in America than even the totaled out average infant mortality rate for all Canadians.

The article is much nicer than the little graph. Read it.

I know Canadians complain about the state of their socialized health care system, but after moving back to America and having shitty health care through my small organization, I'm frankly scared to get sick or hurt. I'm not poor, but I don't have dental insurance or a very well covering general health plan.
   comment by Gbrowdy (#55) on January 17, 2007

OK, I read the article. Thanks for pointing out that there was one; I missed the link.

I'm such a skeptic that I annoy even myself. I much prefer the Canadian system, by the way, but the article feels like a politically motivated hit piece. It feels like the stats are being twisted in just the way the author wants.

Like, for-profit hospitals may have higher death rates because they treat rarer and more high-risk diseases, not because they're cutting costs.

Still, this sentence is powerful: "But in Canada there is no association between income inequality and mortality rates—none whatsoever." But wait, what does that mean? Why "income inequality" and not just "income"?

Is she saying that income has no effect on mortality, or that places with income inequality (Toronto) have the same mortality rate as places with income equality (um, PEI?) Cause that's WAY different. That just means it averages out to the same.
   comment by Bryan on January 17, 2007

I've had to deal with the American healthcare system for the past few months...I now have a $600 medical bill for a freakin' blood test.
God forbid I have to go to the hospital (oh wait, I did...still haven't gotten the bill from that yet!)

I'm not poor, but at $300 per month for shitty coverage, I'm quickly becoming poor...I'll trade for the long wait times over these insane costs any day!
   comment by Mel on February 8, 2007

When my health care provider (US) dictates to me, after I have paid into their insuranse for 40 years, what state I have to live in to get their coverage, my freedom is seriously curtailed, it deminishes democracy which is becoming a notion of the past.
   comment by Teri on April 18, 2007

Here's another article about a study comparing US and Canadian healthcare.
   comment by dustin (#1) on April 20, 2007

yah! It's true how bad is the healthcare in the USA. I cant belive that i need to pay $450 just for the consultation of my 5 mos old baby, not including vaccination or any lab test. Its really shocking!!!!
   comment by ian on December 28, 2007

I just really think that health care is way out of hand. Routine blood tests should not have to be sent to a hospital lab. And they sould not cost $300 a test. And now some insurance companies like the one me daughter has do not pay for labs.

I say save your money in a private savings and use that for doctor and hospital bills you would actually save money in the long run.

Case in point is my daughter, if she'd have saved the amount that insurance cost her in 3 years she'd have $6,000. She have $4,000 deductalbe and is not due until March 2009. This means she will need to meet the deductable for 2008 and 2009=$8,000. Now if the $6,000 was in savings she would have to make up say $2,000. With what was waisted on insurance this child will cost her at least 15,000 instead of $8,000. Think about it. Insurance is a scam!!!!!
   comment by Chris on August 29, 2008

I have to admit the politicians do not see Canada's Healthcare System for what it is. No Canadian has or ever will lose their home due to a medical bill. You can choose your famiy doctor and no hospital would ever deny you care. We all get care, you get a government health card and all services are given to you free. There are no insurance companies, taxes are a bit higher, but so are the wages. It all works out. Now only if the American politicians get get onto this concept and sell it to the people, all your national heathcare troubles would be solved.
   comment by Derek Brown on October 9, 2008

I am an African-American with no health care coverage. I do not get sick but it is important to have health care. I m yself will be immigrating to Canada in 2009 or 2010 to have my skills be put to good use. America is done as a nation and Barak Obama will have his hands full as president.
   comment by sam smith on November 9, 2008

I have two data points that illustrate the absurd infamy

1. I needed vaccinations for a trip to South America. I procrastinated on it because my friends in Mexico City that I was traveling with told me they had gotten all of them for $60 while-you-wait. When I phoned around all the medical centers in the CA Bay Area they all had 4 months + waiting lists. There was only one that accepted walk-ins. I queued up at 5am together with hundreds of immigrants that needed vaccinations for their visa applications. It was finally my turn at 9:30pm and I paid $760.

If I had instead gone on the morning flight from San Francisco to Mexico City to get my vaccinations there I would not only have paid $300 less (including flight ticket & taxi) but I would have also managed to get back home in time for dinner with a return flight the same evening flight.

2. I went to the Stanford Hospital ER in Palo Alto, CA with abdominal pain. I was released after about 2h with the diagnosis that I have a gallstone. The total cost for this diagnosis was $12,600.
I then went to the Raffles Hospital in Singapore to have the gallstone removed. The surgery took 3 hours and I was hospitalized for 4 days. This cost around $7,500 (including flight) at that time's exchange rate.

I am lucky to have maintained my European healthcare insurance when I moved to the US. It works similarly to the Canadian and it is the only one I can really rely on. It covers me globally with the exception of the US. Go figure. So I need to maintain one here as well in case I get into an accident and can't go anywhere else to get life-saving treatment. But this is the only use it really has. I go to Europe or Asia for all other treatments, even routine dental work.

I can't confirm the notion of some others here that the US system provides better quality care for higher cost. Not compared to the 5 other countries I lived in. The hospitals may be looking nicer and there are a lot more specialists that can give you cutting edge procedures not available anywhere else. But if you just want a standard treatment for a common issue you get the worst quality deal I have seen. Particularly dental work. I can recognize it from 20 ft away if you had cosmetic dental work done in the US.

   comment by Don Camillo on January 10, 2009

A great many Canadians go without the care they medical care they need, because they do not have a family doctor. This is not by choice, but because there are not enough doctors. Canadian family doctors act as gatekeepers to specialist. If your GP says no, than you will not see a specialist. There are people in large cities like Toronto without a family doctor. It can take months and even up to a year or longer to see a specialist. Many Canadians die waiting to have serious cardiac and other operations, because the waiting lists are too long. Our government rations healthcare. It can take up to two or three years to get a new hip in some provinces. Imagine the pain and suffering, and the deterioration. Many Americans "think" that everything is covered in Canada. This is simply untrue. Dental care for example is NOT covered ( it maybe for children up to a certain age, but than converge stops and pay out of pocket or through insurance begins, orthodontic care, jaw surgery for TMJ, and bit plates, etc ... none of this is covered), physiotherapy outside the hospital setting is not covered, chiropractors are often not covered (varies by province), naturopaths are not covered, prescription medications are not covered. Medical equipment is often, you guessed it, not covered. My own mother had to pay for a plastic cast, it was like a hockey boot, and supposed to help her broken foot. The ER doctor didn’t put it on her foot. Mom had to physically go to the healthcare store and purchase this device, and it did not run cheap. Oh, well, I’m at it, a visit to the eye doctor is often also not covered. Domestic surgery is also not covered. Contrary to this article people have 1. died in Canada, because they have not been able to receive necessary medical care. 2. Canadians have lost their homes, because they could not afford medica care. Canadians must choose between food, their meds., or paying heat. Oh, Canadian heath care is not free. We pay high taxes, some provinces charge a premium, and it's ideal to have private medical coverage to pay for the growing list of items no longer covered. Coverage by province varies, a great deal, and Canadians healthcare in general acts like a giant HMO, but one based on a monopoly. So, an administer can decide if you are too old for dialysis or too old for an operation, or a family doctor may turn you down due to chronic illness, drug addiction, or say you've reached the grand old age of 50. That's the reality of healthcare in Canada where healthcare is not guaranteed
   comment by Misconceptions about Canadian healthcare on March 22, 2009

We can no longer choose a family doctor in Canada. To be able to choose one's own GP and even a specialist is increasingly a very rare, rare choice. Given the vast shortage of family doctors one is lucky to even have a family doctor. They are like a rare jewel, very difficult to come by. It's obvious that those stating otherwise have never or rarely needed healthcare in Canada, because they are likely quite healthy. If one has a chronic and life threatening illness, they see the system for what it is, a mess, abysmal, and collapsing.
   comment by Misconceptions about Canadian healthcare on March 22, 2009

Dude I'm from the U.S. and I ttravelled to Canada in the summer and it was AMAZING, I LOVE IT THERE. It was paradise. And when I got sick the health care was so convinient and great. I love Canada and I am moving there next month.
   comment by lessly on May 5, 2009

"When my health care provider (US) dictates to me, after I have paid into their insuranse for 40 years, what state I have to live in to get their coverage, my freedom is seriously curtailed, it deminishes democracy which is becoming a notion of the past."

@Teri. Perhaps I am missing something, but as a middle aged man who has had U.S. health insurance until moving to Canada, what difference does it make how long you've been paying into "their" system? You are a number in their (any U.S. health ins.) system. You are a member only as long as you pay their premium. Benefits don't accumulate the longer you are with them. Again. perhaps I miss-read or am otherwise missing something but I don't understand your expectations. Do you understand how the U.S. system works?
   comment by Adam on May 16, 2009

Only one thing is keeping me from staying in my home country, Canada and that is my fiance. I am scared out of my witts how we will survive there without the medical coverage I have here. I don't know if I will ever acclimate in having to pay monthly for health insurance, pay for every visit to the doctors office, pay for emergencies, pay for birth, pay 40% more on medicine, wait hours and hours at doctors offices. I talked to a lady who waited for 14 hours at the emergency room!!! in Florida!!!. I had brain surgery 14 years ago and did'nt have to pay not 1 cent. I couldn't even fathom having to go through that in the states. Who knows how many thousands and thousand I would have to pay out of my pocket!! I will miss my home country, Canada.
   comment by mary on June 15, 2009

The problem is not that we need govt. healthcare vs. private healthcare, as it stands now. Reform in America is needed, but it needs to start w/ getting rid of Medicaid and Medicare, which dictates how the private companies must work, and then we need to reform private insurance into a better, more competitive system. Right now there isn't competition for a host of reasons. Competition would right the wrongs. And as for waiting in the ER's for hours on end, yes, that happens, but look around---most of the people in the ER's are illegal immigrants and/or people without any insurance at all--they go to the ER bc/ they cannot be turned away legally and they go for coughs/colds. I've experienced this myself often.
   comment by jes on June 26, 2009

here is the bottom line folks, (see the movie sicko) almost every country in the world including canada, recognizes that the mark of a civilized country is one who takes care of its old, its sick, and its young. here in the good old USA its different, its survival of the richest and the fittest. you cant fight it, too many greedy insurance and drug companies, insurance? thats a laugh, try getting health insurance from them if you are over 65 even if you are healthy they will laugh at you. medicare you say! well not everyone can qualify. Im 70 yrs old and never paid enough SS to cover it. the best chance youve got is hope that Barack Obama will fight for you and keep his promise.
   comment by Tommy on July 7, 2009

not sure what the answer is for the USA but I don't think it is goverment run/taxpayer funded universal healthcare...our gov has a terrible track record running things...ex DMV, Soc Sec. etc. But something needs to be done, maybe get the gov out of it more...? idk. and who do you believe about other countries with socialized healthcare? some canadians say how terrible it is and talk about long waits for proceedures and others say the opposite.
   comment by stickyfrog on July 15, 2009

I am sick of hearing American politicians saying how bad Canada's health care system is.I needed a CT scan all i waited is 2 days,later I needed an MRI and got in in less than 10 days.My mother is a 101 and lives with me,our doctor comes to the house to see her and none of this cost a penny.I laugh when I hear American Ins. companies saying they have cheap health care,only $400 plus a month for two people.Give me our health care system any day even with it's problems.Somebody said we can't choose our own doctors now,funny I did.
   comment by sylvia on July 22, 2009

My sister lived in Canada for 20 plus years, She moved back to the states to retire as she felt the health care was much better in the USA. Canada is wonderful if you don't need too much care, and are willing to wait for critical tests. She was not, so she moved back.
   comment by miton on July 24, 2009

I work as a paramedic in Toronto so I see some aspects of the health care system that others don't, at least in the Toronto area. I think our system was at its peak about 18 years ago. At that time, my wife and I decided we wanted our first child born at the birthing centre at Scarborough Grace Hospital. This place, at the time was a pilot project and was unbelievable. They had these great private rooms, jacuzzi's the mother's could sit in while they were in labour, and a mid-wife that was assigned to you who worked with the doctors and nurses and would follow up with you at home for months after the birth! So we had to find a doctor that had rights to this hospital. We found a number of them and literally went out and interviewed them so we could find one that we thought was really good, and would respect our wishes. The doctor WE chose was awesome! I was blown away by the whole experience. Okay, so...that was 18 years ago and a lot has changed. They still have a number of birthing centres in Toronto but nothing like the one we experienced then. I guess they killed the program much to my dismay but not really surprising -it seemed just a little too good to last. To get to the core of the changes I see as a paramedic: they have closed down hospital floors due to hospital staff cuts. This followed a number of hospitals being closed in Toronto. The remaining hospitals generally got renovations, and look great, BUT - one place you really see the problem is the backlog in the emergency. This is because the people come into the emergency and, if they don't get discharged, they often stay in the emerg. since there is a lack of staff to receive them on the floors. This results in greater wait times as the flow through the emergency department gets jammed. So far, people are still triaged appropriately, and if you have a higher priority medical condition related to airway, breathing or circulation (just like they teach in CPR courses) , you are seen immediately in all but the most unusual cases. Needless to say, no one who is sick wants to wait and ideally we should be able to solve this problem since it didn't exist 10 years ago. So what happened? Canada has a much better medical system than the U.S. There just is no comparison. I'm speaking overall, cross the board. I have seen both from a number of angles, and Michael Moore's film is not far from the truth. My wife is American and one of the big reasons we decided to stay in Canada is the health care system. But here's the irony- Canada's system is being Americanized if I can call it that. Big corporate interests are looking to crack it open so they can make the same obscene profits they do in the U.S. at the direct expense of you and I. It really borders on criminal when they are allowed to capitalize on you when you are at your most vulnerable and in a practicallly unlimited way. Don't get me wrong: I am not a socialist, but I don't like the way big corporations are taking over and having their way with us. It appears to me they are purposefully breaking the Canadian medicare system so they can then say, "you see, it is broken, public healthcare doesn' t work and it needs to be a public private partnership". This simply means that the government will handle and pay for all the things that the private companies don't consider profitable, and who will jump all over the quick and easy money procedures etc. From what I've seen, we are slowly losing the battle in Canada, and like the birthing centre pilot program, I guess our medicare system was too good to last. One last comment just to make this ridiculously long: my dad had prostate cancer treated at Mt. Sinai hospital in Toronto, the same place that American General Shwartkoff (sorry about the spelling) traveled to have his cancer treated. This proves nothing, but I can say there is a lot of negative propaganda in the U.S. about the state of Canada's health care. For the most part, it's pretty much as good as anywhere in the world, and trust me, few, if any die waiting to be seen in the emergency. All health care practitioners know they are the ones who wear it if that were to happen and want to keep their jobs ( we actually care about people too!)
   comment by Marc on July 25, 2009

he ultimate purpose of a health care system is to keep you alive and well. On that basis, to compare the US system to the Canadian system, is absurd. The Canadian system is so far ahead of the US system any comparison is asinine. A more meaningful comparison would be between the US system and that of Wallis and Fatuna, an overseas French colony in the Pacific. Go here: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/wf.html
   comment by Canadiano on August 1, 2009

Canadiano: that's not a very good indicator of healthcare systems. Are you saying that hospital and medical treatment is the ONLY factor determining how long you live?

Two of the three biggest killers in North America are cancer and car accidents. Canada has higher gas and cigarette taxes, which is part of the reason that people smoke and drive less in Canada. This alone could account for why the Canadian lifespan is longer than the American. The healthcare system may contribute as well, but you can't say that just because one country has a longer lifespan they automatically have the better healthcare system.
   comment by anonymous on August 3, 2009

I lived in Canada for 40 years and then moved to the US and have been here for 11 years - just became a citizen last year. Maybe it is simply a matter of where I lived in Canada vs. where I live in the US, but I find health care miles (not kilometers) ahead in the US. I much prefer the system here. In Canada I remember waiting 8 months to see a specialist; 3 days here, 2 months for an MRI; 1 week here, waiting 4 hours in a doctor's office in Canada for a scheduled appointment; have never waited in the US, 5 hours waiting in ER in Canada with a broken wrist; 5 minutes waiting here with the same severity of problem.

As for the cost of healthcare in either country, even though a lot of blogs say that taxes are comparable in the two countries, I do not believe it. I found that there was a lot less left on the paycheck in Canada after deductions than there is here. Not only that, there are deductions in the US that are a plus and it seems that most things that you purchase here with your net pay cost a lot less. I think that most of my fellow Americans would be appalled at the banking charges in Canada for one example. My wife and I had always planned to move back to Canada after retirement, but over the last couple of years we have reconsidered and will be staying here, and in large part due to the healthcare in the US.
   comment by Dan M on August 11, 2009

I had knee surgury several years back for 'Osgood Schlatters' diesease. In most cases, this goes away after a couple of years, I had it from 15-21 and finally said enough. It hurt like a bastard anytime contact on my knee was made. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osgood-Schlatter_disease)

They knocked me out for the surgury (which lasted about 25min) and removed the bone fragment in my knee which tissue had woven through. Apparently in the states that would have cost $7500.00, mine was free.. I waited 2 months to get in for it. After having pain in my knee for 7 years, I didnt mind waiting 2 months to save 7k.

Recovery was basically the same as ACL - oh, I did have to pay $25.00 for my crutches :) Yah for Canada!
   comment by anonymous on August 11, 2009

Canadian health care combines public and private plans. Private insurance (optional) and depending on the plan, covers things like drug and dental bills, ambulance costs, and upgrading from public (4 beds per ward) to a semiprivate room in hospital. The cost of the insurance is usually shared by the employer and employee and sometimes, but not always, continues after retirement. The cost, even when completely paid by the individual, is negligible compared with what Americans have to pay. The cost of prescriptions, eyeglasses, and dental care for people on welfare is covered by the government.
I have had several medical procedures performed in hospitals in the last two years, ranging from the elective-- like cataract surgery to emergency--a ruptured appendix and peritonitis. The care was first rate; the wait time for the elective surgeries was more than reasonable (I didn't have to pull any strings) and it didn't cost me a cent. I probably pay more income tax than my American counterpart, but I'll never have to declare bankruptcy or lose my house because of medical bills.
   comment by a canadian senior on August 18, 2009

One third of my paycheck is gone before I see it. My fathers before he retired half was taken off. Theres another 12% tax on nearly everything I buy. Our gas is heavily taxed. Our businesses are heavily taxes and to make their profit margin the costs are put to the consumer. I have to pay tax on a haircut or if I want to buy a rusted old car off my neighbour. Things are routinely taxed twice. I make 25 dollars an hour and have little savings to talk about. On top of this, I pay $130 extra each month for my 'free' health insurance for my family. Everything here is expensive, and MOST of the tax money taken by those in charge goes to health care. Nothing in life is free. Do you realize our paramedics are on strike right now? No kidding, as all government employees strike routinely.

On a side note, my wife's brother is 34 years old and needs a new knee because of arthritis. Since Canada will only give you one knee, he's not eligible to receive one until he's 55 years old, as they only last 20 years. And because no one without competition needs your business, nobody gives a damn about him or his kids, plus every operation is seen as a liability to the hospitals, because it drains out of the government money they receive. My friends mother spent 3 years in bed as an invalid waiting for a hip. Thats not unusual.

The only government intervention you need down there is to stop all your greedy suing for malpractice that drives the price up insanely. The greed is in the people themselves. You still have the best medical system in the world, with all the innovation and a lifeline for us Canadians to save our lives when our system fails us.
   comment by Proud Canadian, but my heads not covered in the sand on August 18, 2009

I cannot describe the complete and utter disgust I feel when I see the ignorant comments from Americans stating absurd facts about Canadian Healthcare.
One person wrote that many people simply die waiting for procedures or in the ER? Are you f***ing kidding me? Where did you ever hear this? If you have a serious condition or need immediate care, YOU WILL RECIEVE IT, YOU WONT WAIT FOR IT..
Also, Canada is certainly not lacking in innovation or medical technology as we are one of the world leaders in that field along with the U.S, Britain and Germany.

I just want to leave you with this question before you open your ignorant mouth again...
How many Americans have died because they simply couldn't afford health care?
   comment by Ale on August 19, 2009

I think the healthcare plan is better in canada because of the life expectancy rate and the cost of ours is tremendous! i think we should do the same thing as canada, if you have a problem with me then email me and tell me why you disagree, esplonky@gvtc.com
   comment by Forrest Hodges on August 28, 2009

I would not trade our Canadian health care system for anything. I have family and friends who live in the US and they cannot believe the privileges that we have with our system. I have been listening to all of the crap on the American media about how the Canadian system is and I am disgusted about all of the misinformation that they are feeding to the public. They should truly be ashamed. Open your eyes people, its all about greed with the American health insurance companies. Do something right...take care of your people.
   comment by Ryan in British Columbia Canada on September 7, 2009

i watched barack obama's televised interviews on healthcare and have concluded the big question is how will it (healthcare program) be paid for without a new tax. of course he is reminded of his promise during his election campaign of not to raise taxes. the public purse that pays for education, police, civil protection and defense, etc., needs to carve out a piece of the pie to provide basic healthcare services for the general public, it is the civilized thing to do.
   comment by leona on September 20, 2009

I use to lived in florida for 5 years and when my wife get diabetes cost me $200 only a simple visit to a specialist,for my son i was waited in ER for 8 hours and i left,than they sent me $600 bill for what? We moved to canada,i had hernia ,the operation was well organized and completly free,we have family doctor,all the visits are free,for MRI i waited 3 weeks in toronto also for free,all are medicines ,drugs are free covered by our jobs benefits.So what else we need? I would never change Canada for USA.
   comment by moroder65 on October 31, 2009

My mother is from Canada; now a naturalized citizen of the United States. She prefers the US medical system. The Canadian system cost her years she could have enjoyed with first with her brother, then her baby sister and now a brother-in-law.

My aunt died of a cancer which is often terminal. It may have been so for her, but we'll never know. Treatment was delayed though out what remained of her life. My uncle died earlier of a liver problem which became terminal during the months he was waiting for a bed.

Now another uncle, my mother's brother-in-law, has been tied to his own bed for over a year waiting for a hospital bed has been told he is now too weak to go through the surgery on his knee. It seems to us that delaying treatment of the seriously ill is a major way of reducing health care costs in Canada. Delayed often enough and long enough treatment becomes unnecessary. People just die.

But our experience with the Canadian medical system does not end with these serious losses. On a recent visit to Alberta, my mother fell as she got out of a car and gashed her forehead. After waiting hours in the ER she was finally seen by an MD. He haphazardly cleaned the wound, stitched around the edges, then pulled; gathering the edges much like gathering the strings to close an old string coin purse.
The result looked very odd. Everywhere she went her forehead was drew attention. Not just the wound, but it's strange repair was commented on. By friends she saw before leaving Canada. By strangers on the plane home. By friends and family who saw her when she returned to Utah...
The gathered skin failed to heal, my father took her to a Dr near their small town, who took one look and said, "Who the %^$*# did this," took out the stitches and cleaned GRAVEL from the wound! How a major infection was avoided we will never know.

Years ago the seven-year-old son of a friend was found to have cancer. Trying to comfort her I commented that the prognosis for that particular form of cancer had just become very good-survival with treatment was now at 90% or higher.

She replied, " Percentals don't mean anything when it's your child."

That sums up how we feel about the Canadian system. We are told about the the better numbers-longer life spans, lower costs and so on. But it hasn't been so for us. The numbers are, for us, untrue, untrustworthy.
   comment by Diane on November 11, 2009

Canada: Visit to family Dr. = $ Free
Heart surgery $ Free
MRI / CAT $ Free
Cast on broken $ Free
X-Rays $ Free
Mamogram $ Free
Operations $ Free
Hospital stay $ Free
Vacinations $ Free
Mental Health $ Free
Specialist $ Free
BIRTHING $ Free
The list can go on and on. You do the math.... Let me see the costs for the same things in the USA. I am sure the cost difference will be stagering.
   comment by Aunt Sadie on November 13, 2009

To American Diane:
With regards to your mother slipping in Alberta and getting stitches on her forehead. I very much doubt that the American small town doctor took out gravel from your mother's wound that the Canadian doctor neglected to remove. That seems absurd. Our health care system is not backwards as you make it seem. It makes me wonder about your views all together. Doctors here do not let people die in the waiting room. They treat the people who need it most first. For someone who isn't even Canadian and has had no personal experience with our health care system. You sure have a lot of negative things to say. If you read all of the comments above, it seems the Canadian Health Care system is more favourable by far.
   comment by Elena on November 15, 2009

This is the reality right now for a self-employed American: me. I am 46 years old, in good health with only a few past medical concerns -- both ob/gyn things. Nothing major. I may $200 per month for a policy that has a $2500 deductible. It allows for one visit per year with a doctor and a few tests which it covers maybe 50 percent if it's related to the once a year check up. Other than that, it's all my bill up to $2500. Then it pays 80 percent of whatever else after the $2500 out of my pocket. So let's see -- I am paying potentially $4900 per year just in case something big happens, so that I don't go bankrupt by medical bills. Oh, and let's not forget -- the insurance company can exclude anything at any time, at their whim. They really can! If they pore through my medical history and find out that I forgot to include on my sign-up forms, a nose bleed or something I had in 1968, they can deny any healthcare coverage for anything, based on the "fact" that I omitted information on my forms. One more thing -- I just received a notice that the only women's ob/gyn group within 45 minutes of where I live is being terminated by my insurance company's 'allowed" list of providers.

I am afraid to try to get different insurance (accessible to the doctors I have been going to) because a new policy will routinely deny care for any condition I have had in the last 3-7 years. Not kidding.

Oh, and of course this policy does not include dental or vision benefits. Duh.

   comment by Liz on December 4, 2009

Try adding 11 million plus illegals to your stats and see how Canada fares
   comment by John on December 6, 2009

Canada:

Visit to family Dr. (if you can get one) = "free" if you don't count the punishing tax load.

Heart surgery if your still alive when they get around to you = "free" if you don't count the punishing tax load.

MRI / CAT if you can wait long enough = "free" meaning insane tax rates will cover it. Oh and if you can't wait go to the private clinic to be seen in an acceptable time frame.

Cast on broken = After waiting in the emergency room for 8-16 hours "free" if you don't count the punishing tax load.

X-Rays = "free" if you don't count the punishing tax load.

Mamogram = "free" if you don't count the punishing tax load.

Operations = if your not dead or in need of another operation once they get to you, "free" if you don't count the punishing tax load.

Hospital stay = if a bed can be found with the shortages and all, "free" if you don't count the punishing tax load.

Vacinations = you have to pay for a number of them, but the rest are "free" if you don't count the punishing tax load.

Mental Health = my province of Quebec (most socialist and highest taxed province) had 4 million anti-depressant prescriptions for 8 million people a couple of years ago, sound like doctors medicating patients quickly to get the government fee for patients seen, oh ya and "free" if you don't count the punishing tax load.

Specialist = HAHAHAH what's a specialist, no seriously though you want to wait for 4 months this year like I did to have a 24 hour window to call, just call the specialist office, if they fill up (which they did) too fast call back in 4 months, oh ya and "free" if you don't count the punishing tax load.

BIRTHING = "free" if you don't count the punishing tax load.

The list can go on and on. You do the math.... The math is the average Canadian pays more in taxes per year than in food/clothing/ and shelter COMBINED.

P.S. Oh and just in case you Americans didn't know my province receives billions per year from other provinces (who do better with their bookkeeping) that does not have to be paid back (what a scam), that my province then turns around and tries to offer more and more socialist goodies/promises/schemes, and we still have one of the worst levels of healthcare in Canada.
   comment by CP on December 15, 2009

No one enjoys paying taxes, but as with all things, how much we pay in tax is a relative thing. What fascinates me, is that we do not pay much more tax than Americans do, until you earn a 6 figure income. In fact, given that on top of taxes, US citizens have to pay for medical insurance, for school, for roads etc. Canadians get far more bang for their buck.

http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/taxes.htm
   comment by anonymous on December 15, 2009

I wonder many a times why there are too many infant mortality..?? We have gone through so many advances in science and technology but there is nothing we can do to control this?? We have seen many new developments in the field of health and medical, nutritious food and so on. But when it comes to mankind, we lack behind.
BTW, you can go to Rana Tandoori for tasty north Indian food and have a better nutritious food, anytime for your good health.
   comment by Rana Tandoori on January 22, 2010

Dear americans, please keep your noses out of our country's health care system and go die quietly.
   comment by FuckOff on January 26, 2010

I am younger, I have had a hernia, which was dealt with, back pain that was dealt with, and I just had a full physical in which they found some lymph nodes, went and had a ultrasound which i booked for a month later. all dealt with.

All free of charge.

Canada wins. Plain and simple.

And sure, i pay heaps and heaps of tax. But you know what. One day i may get sick, or better yet, old. And when that day comes, my butts covered by our health care.

   comment by Jeff on February 6, 2010

Yes, we need reform in our medical system in the US, but we don't need 2,700 pages of it.

I am a nurse in the US and one of the things that only a few in the above opinions have mentioned is the issue of Illegals in the US. Unfortunately, we are not just talking visits to the ER for sore throats and colds, but major services including everything from Cardiac Stents to extended ICU care to Transplants.

All very expensive procedures in ANY country. Nothing is "free". Someone always has to pay, either directly or by taxation.

In addition, I noted a comment by Ryan in British Columbia which states in regards to the US, "Do something right, take care of your people". Nowhere in our Constitution,, Declaration of Indedpendence or Bill of Rights does it say anything about the government "taking care of (it's) people". It is about the opportunity for us to take care of ourselves with as little government involvement as possible. It is high time we re-educate people in our country about just what that means--taking care of our own on community, state and local levels and keep the Federal Government out of our lives as much as possible. Sure, it will be difficult as too many people have little by little been convinced that the government is the savior, but it is worth it to save the philosophy that created the great nation I live in today.

Other countries can do what they please. It is up to the citizenry of democratic countries to decide how much government they want in their lives. Canadians have that right and have their own sense of naitonal pride and belief system. That is why we have different nations and ideologies.

People are free to live where they want and if they should choose to live in a more government influenced society, then that is their choice.

I am not here to "put down" Canadian health care. I work with several Canadian nurses and I dearly love them; they are awesome people, but we are not Canada. I just do not want the Canadian health care system here.

In regards to the comment made by "anonymous" on Dec. 15, 2009, if I can make six figures someday, I want to keep as much of that six figures as possible for MY risk and reap My reward. As I am a very charitable person as many Americans are, some of that money will go to people and causes I personally know and care about. How much more efficient than sending to a monster of a
Federal Government that wastes money every day.

   comment by Elsa on March 4, 2010

Please as a Canadian that just came back from the Usa give us a break .
Choose what you feel confertable with.
As a human being I could not accept some choices
I hope I still to have a conscience
Ciao
   comment by armando on March 20, 2010

Elsa. Sounds like you are a tea bagger? You, a nurse believe that health care is not a right but a privilige?. BTW. You spout the GOP hyperboles e.g. the Health Care bill size:

The bill is printed in large type, double spaced and with line numbers filling the left hand column with only 23 lines per page - average number of words per page is only 120. A normal document with 12-point fonts, normal margins and normal spacing has 46 and an average of 628 word per page, 5.23 time more. If this bill were printed normally it would only be 380 page long.

The first 16 page consist of a table of contents and definitions of word used in the document reducing the size of the document to 364.

Half of the rest of the document consists of more definintions of words.- typical of every bill that is written by congress so that half the bill goes to explaining what the words like 'health benefits' means. So now we are down 182 pages.

Unfortunately, Americans cannot get beyond the USA USA - We're number # psuedo patriotic BS.
   comment by danny on March 22, 2010

OMG health care is a right.
   comment by Heather on March 22, 2010

I have read and watched many things about the Canadian Health Care System and I hear very little bad about it. It is interesting to me that here in the US we hear nothing but bad. Not only about Canada, but about the UK and France as well. But, for some reason when you dig into these things and places, you find something so different than the propaganda that is fed to all of us. Why don't more US citizens read and investigate for themselves rather than believing everything fed them by the media? It just makes no sense to me.
   comment by Lana on March 23, 2010

Lana you are spot on. It is amazing with the internet today people are so ill informed and believe the BS Rush and Beck and Palin spew.

A few facts of note.

Danny Williams the Premier of NewFoundland is the leader of his cpnservative party and opposes single payer and he owns a condo in Miami. If you had the choice of being in Miami and 70 or Canada and 20 degrees in february where would you go? Based on his surgery he would not be able to hop a plane ride to Miami after the surgery............

Blue Sheild/Blue Cross of Massachusetts employees more people to adminster their health system then Canada does for its 32 million. ........

Single payer systems are way more efficient then anything run by a health insurance company.

Margaret Thatcher gutted Englands NHS and the new leader of their Conservative party has vowed to correct the wrongdoings of Thatcher and her ideas said her ideas are flawed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-373248/The-son-NHS-crusade.html
The son behind my NHS crusade

He referred to "Margaret Thatcher's support for giving tax relief on private medical insurance, and our Patient's Passport policy at the last election... I think both these approaches are flawed

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-373248/The-son-NHS-crusade.html#ixzz0jL67q6wv

He referred to "Margaret Thatcher's support for giving tax relief on private medical insurance, and our Patient's Passport policy at the last election... I think both these approaches are flawed.
"Under a Conservative government the NHS will remain free at the point of need and available to everyone, regardless of how much money they have in the bank."
He ruled out cuts in funding: "There are some things on which we and Labour agree. That the NHS has been underfunded in the past; that it needs sustained investment, but that money alone is not the answer," he said.
He made clear that the status quo was not an option and demanded far-reaching reforms to improve a service which still failed too many patients. Private firms would be given a much bigger role in providing frontline services, while hospitals and GPs would be cut free from the shackles of Whitehall's target culture.


Read more:

Another right wing talking point but in regards to dentistry in England but that the Right wing uses agaisnt "Socialized Medicine"

Google 1,000 villagers wait for a dentist after just one NHS practice opens

Now granted that can sound bad at first.. However, the Village has 11k residents. One thousand of them are in need of a dentist so that is a whopping 9 percent or so need to see the Dentist......

In America 130 million are unable to see the dentist due to costs, so we have around 40 percent of our population in need of a dentist. Which would you choose 9 percent needing a dentist or 40 percent needing a dentist?........

Another Right wing smear tactic.

Shona holmes of the reality Check ad. She claimed to have a life threatening tumor. However, it was a BENIGN Rathke Cleft Cyst and she could and would have been treated in Canada. She was paid to Lie to Americans and Patients United Now paid her to do it.

She claims she had to mortgage her house,,,,, Now I do not know if that happens in Canada but from my research it is the only one I have heard about, but a Canadian would be able to inform what it is really like.

There is one case in Canada about a young lady in Saskachtewan I believe that did have issues with getting a drug for her cancer. That maybe the only true story there is about a screw up.

How many screw ups happen in America that we never even hear about?


Only in America are there Health insurance Death Panels, health insurance bankruptcy panels and health insurance denial panels.

We also have more Iatrogenic deaths (death by medical errors) then France and Germany and Canada and yes even Great Britain.

In other countries they know that they need to improve and continually work at changing how they approach health care for their citizens. In America for too long as Danny said some (Mainly Republicans0 have had the attitude of USA USA. Now that in itself is a great way to feel about your country. However, if you blind yourself to other ways of doing things and they have been proven to better to work. In the long run the "We are the Best" attitude will ruin a country.

Barry GoldWater said it best.

I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass.
Said in July 1981 in response to Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell's opposition to the nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court, of which Falwell had said, "Every good Christian should be concerned." as quoted in Ed Magnuson, "The Brethren's First Sister," Time Magazine, (20 July, 1981)


On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.


I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?
And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."
   comment by Actongue on March 26, 2010

Current US health care system: "I Got Mine"
   comment by Jon on April 17, 2010

one hospital in texas spends more money on cancer research than the entire canadian medical system. this will eventually end, maybe japan will help us out.
   comment by rick on April 23, 2010

Canadas is better even if you are rich,
you can pay to get in a different line
   comment by Oliver on June 17, 2010

I live in British Columbia, Canada. I have developed a blood clot and am undergoing continuing treatment, which requires many blood tests. From what I have read in statements printed here, I would have paid about $4500 so far for blood tests in the U.S.A. Here, I have paid nothing. I did pay taxes, of course. Americans who like to point at our taxes might want to look at their multi-trillion dollar debt.
   comment by Jim on July 7, 2010

I am a canadian, and though I like not having to pay directly for my health care, there is another problem that no one here has pointed out. With the way our health care is going, in 2025 110% of the amount of taxes that we are paying would have to go toward health care in order to get it going. What about everything else? Education? Etc.
Will private health care in Canada save Canada? Perhaps.
   comment by Alex on July 31, 2010

It's really hilarious to watch something like healthcare turn into a huge debate over religion. My thoughts as a Canadian: our healthcare is amazing- everywhere I've lived (Alberta, Toronto) I could find a good family doctor right away, and it is definitely worth the extra cash in taxes!!!
   comment by Z. Neufeld on August 29, 2010

To the people who think US health care is better, do you have a health care plan provided by someone else? I dare say if you were out of work and had to get real medical attention, and then pay for it out of pocket, you would feel a little different. And for anyone acting like there is no wait times here in the US, please. That just makes everything you say come under suspect. I am a US citizen with blue cross blue shield healthcare. I pay 2500 a year in "contributions" to a plan that has a 6000 max per yr deductible per family. Copays, meds, etc, do not go towards the deductible. The insurance co. can refuse meds, tests, etc. This has happened to me, not just some theoretical nonsense. Proud to be an American and all, but this health care system is in a rapid downward spiral.
   comment by Don on October 6, 2010

Just had a Boxers fracture here in Canada, I live in a small farming community and have a small hospital. I had waited 6hrs in emerge (It was packed), but I also know that the serious injury’s come first. After 6hrs the Emerge Dr. set up a appointment with a specialist in 2 weeks. Bill cost = $0, after specialist and parking and fiber glass cast (because I wanted to at least rinse out my hand) $35. Total cost of broken hand for doing something stupid…. $35…. I also found out later that the cast was covered under my benefits, so say $8 for parking.
   comment by Tim C on January 10, 2011

I am Canadian and have used the system several times with no single problem or major delays, including MRIs. My mother had some exams to be taken in a few months time, but we called to check for cancellations and every time, she got in early.
People complain on delay for cancer treatments, MRIs and such, but better to have a delay than have some insurance company deny you treatment because it is not covered in their policy. The thought of leaving the hospital and have no piles of bills being mailed is not to be forgottern. I think Canadians take this for granted. No system will ever be perfect, but it is easy to complain when we don't know any worse. I have lived before in a country with a two tier medical system and it was a mess. I would not trade our system for anything!
Many people in the US after a hospital stay have to pay surprisingly high costs not covered by insurance and later deal with increased premiums.
The beauty of the Canadian system is that everyone is the same, there is no distinction between the moneyed and the poor ones as they lay side by side in an ICU or Ward bed at the hospital.
Sure, some specialists are hard to come by, such as general practitioners, but we have more than one in our family and have even been able to recommend some to newcomers with success. There are always new doctors taking patients, or moving to a new city.
   comment by Claudia on January 11, 2011

i find it interesting to have canadians bashing american health care system. sure you whiny little canadians have such a 'great' health care system for many come to the states for care, and we in america pay for your national defense. somebody is paying for your health care if you are not, and if you complicate matters further by not paying taxes, than you are just a leech, indirectly, of the american taxpayer. the main argument in american is not about the health care people are getting, it is about those who want the cake and not pay for it.
   comment by james cranford on January 28, 2011

I am Canadian and just married an American. I just received my green card and live in Florida. I had many MRI, CAT scans, EEG's done in Canada and never had pay or to wait more than 1-3 weeks. I had brain surgery and never paid 1 cent. No monthly insurance payments, and my medication was about half the price. I don't know exactly how we will finacially afford the monthly payments here, but we have to try. I unfortunately have an illness that requires medication for the rest of my life. And if i had had the surgery in the states, it would have cost at least a quarter of a million dollars! In Canada it was free!!!! This is all that i think about, how to make the hundreds of dollars in monthly payments. My mind went racing last month when i went for my first appointment with a neurologist. I had to co-pay $50! My MRI would cost me $200 with insurance and well in the thousands without!!!!! When I walked in, the lady at the front desk asked for the health insurance card,(or whatever u call it here) i gave that to her, she photocopied it and handed me forms i needed to fill out. Ok, then I sat down filled the forms and waited, and waited, 3 hrs before i went in to see the doctor! A young lady who was training came in to see me first. She didn't look at the papers in the forlder she brought in, she just assumed i didn't have coverage. Why? I have no clue. About 30 mins after the neurologist came in and had the same reaction as the other lady, as though i wasn't insured. Neither of them opened the folder to look!!! The neurologist was giving me information as to how i could go abouts possibly getting cheaper pills on line. I take 5 pills a day. It would cost me $40 for 6 days of pills. It would cost me roughly $200 per month. OH wait now, i have insurance, i took out my card to ask them what this was, then and they both looked discombobulated. Come on, this is what i'm paying $400 per month for? Canadian health care is over and above the U.S health insurance!!!
   comment by mary on February 14, 2011

you know what james guy? you can fuck off and kiss my canadian ass. you pay for our defense? fuck you. we pay for our healthcare. fuck you. so overall : f.u.c.k y.o.u

maybe if your government didn't try to maintain an empire you wouldn't need to spend 500 billions a year in military spending? closest to that is China at about 60 billions?
   comment by derp derp on March 2, 2011

It only take one serious accident or illness to run up a medical bill to one million dollars in the U.S. Even with insurance, my out-of-pocket deductible would run about 20% of that amount, or $200,000.

When you hear about people losing their homes and going bankrupt, medical bills are one of the number one reasons in this country. Most of us are only one major illness or injury from having this happen. It is disgraceful that many second and third world countries actually provide better healthcare to their citizens than the U.S. does.
   comment by Carl on March 12, 2011

All those complaining its too expensive and you should get it free, where do you think the money comes from? Canada is gifted with a healthy natural resource industry and its not much of a problem to tax people up to their necks. In some places upper middle class Canadians pay a third of their dollar in taxes. Thats where the tax comes from. And of course, these places where you have insane taxes, you have little industry like you have in the US. Name one Canadian company that does what UPS and FedEx does. Canada does not produce such industry because it is untenable there.

Whine whine whine. Everyone wants things for free but doesnt know where the money comes from. Trace the money. That freeloader mentality is why greece and portugal are going down.

   comment by bro on April 22, 2011

i think that even though im not listening to any conversations ive had about this i think tht american health care sucks alot my friends friend didnt get health care because of a yeast infection she had 10 YEARS earlier and they find ways just for the government not to have to pay for ur healthcare
   comment by Josalyn Moser on April 25, 2011

I have heard a lot a about the Canadian health care system being unsuccessful. But its not true at all. I live in Canada and the health service here is wonderful and it is available to everyone. Americans only criticize the health care in Canada because they are afraid of socialism. They only think about themselves. In Canada we pay for health care in taxes in that way we are paying for everybody and everybody also gets a fair share to pay for. In a way we are all taking care of each other. I have heard stories of people who live in the states get rejected from insurance companies just because they are too young to get cancer, too tall, too fat.In fact as much as I know the 9/11 volunteers from ground zero were rejected to get health care just because they were not government employees. I am very sorry for criticizing health care system of the states. Yes, there are also pros to people who have enough money. But the system is no use if its not available to people who need them the most.
   comment by Simran on October 8, 2011

Lot of misinformation about high taxes in Canada..the taxes are not at all as high as its claimed to be. They are slightly higher but not as high as its claimed to be..most Americans will barely notice the difference in the after tax income.

The monthly insurance payments, co pays etc that the Americans pay for getting medical insurance are far higher than the so called higher taxes in Canada.

Also in Canada it doesn't matter if you are employed or unemployed, you still get FREE medical care no matter what. You never lose your house or life savings or get hounded by collections agencies for the rest of your life since you couldn't pay your huge medical bills , since it's FREE.

People will argue that it's not FREE since you pay taxes in Canada..but as explained before the taxes are not much higher than US. Don't you also pay taxes in US Too ?? It's not like you pay zero taxes in US..the only difference is that the US taxes barely go towards the healthcare the way Canadian taxes do.

The free healthcare is amazing. Contrary to popular belief the wait times are not that high either. If its an emergency you are treated immediately for FREE.

Only for non emergencies the wait times are slightly higher than US but it's worth the slightly longer wait since its FREE.

There is total peace of mind in Canada, you don't go through life worrying about doctor's bills , hospital bills etc..so it's a care free life and you just don't have anything at the back of your mind.

My dad had a knee replacement surgery..he didn't pay a penny for it. A family friend had a major heart surgery..again totally FREE. All this would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, in US.

We don't have people dying in the streets as some US politicians funded by huge powerful private Insurance companies/politicians will claim. On the contrary we have world class healthcare system on par with the US healthcare system, the only difference is that you won't get financially ruined if you access ours whether on an emergency or non emergency basis.

   comment by Tj on January 20, 2012

americans are jealous from canadian health care
   comment by canada on February 5, 2012

I am a Canadian, who has always lived in Canada and am married with four children.
We have had the following medical services in Canada: a broken nose requiring an operation and two days in the hospital, two hernia operations
and six days in a clinic, a collapsed lung and two weeks in the hospital, two prostate operations and 23 days in the hospital ( a pulmonary embolism occured after the first operation ) two broken backs and about three months in the hospital, a brain operation and about two weeks in
the hospital, numerous treatments in the doctors
office and emergency rooms at several hospitals
These are some of the medical services I and my
family have required . The cost in Canada has been less than $50,000.00 ( most of it to upgrade
from ward to semi-private, gas, parking, meals etc.
What would these services cost in the U,S.A. ?
By the way taxes aren't that much greater in Canada. It's just that we pay our way instead of borrowing from the Japanese and Chinese and ignoring some social services.
.
   comment by William Church on March 6, 2012

I'm American and I live in Canada. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly on both sides literally and I prefer Canada. This being said I have honest complaints about the system here.

Canadian complaints:
I can't get in easily to my family doctor. I can choose my family doctor technically but you can't really they are not any available in Montreal.
I can't get a GYNO unless I am pregnant.
I have been on a wait-list for an optional shoulder surgery for 1.5 years now. They called me a few months ago to find out if I still wanted to be on the wait list. I said yes and they said keep waiting.

I have also waited over 20 hours in emergency when it was an emergency. This was complicated as to why I waited, but I think it was a translation issue....french hospital..english speaking person. I won't go back to that hospital. Its enormous and they only have one doctor working evenings every evening (not just emergency...hospital wide one doctor) which probably didn't help the wait time. The cut backs on doctors here is ridiculous and I am sure some people do die because of it. They may have died anyway.

Once I knew the system, and where to go, I can get seen quickly. I go to one semi-private walk in clinic when I am sick. I call my family doctor for chronic health concerns. I go to specific hospitals for specific problems. I had no bills for my daughters birth. I had no bills and a quick MRI and PET scan when I needed them (within weeks). I probably had 40 dislocations in the US...and 40 hospital relocations there. I have had about 10 here. It always took more time to relocate my shoulder in the US and it was never free. My birth was complicated and we were hospitalized in the Nicu and parent ward for a week. The cost (0$). My daughter was hospitalized a week with gastro at 9 months....cost (16$ parking fee). I can go on, the costs are very different...and its nice when you are living in a hospital or taking home a new baby to not have to worry about paperwork.

Here I don't have to worry about which doctors are covered on my insurance or if I can afford a copay. I don't have to stay in job I hate for my health insurance benefits.

In the US...YOU waste time filing insurance documents and fighting with insurance companies, you have to worry about what your insurance will cover, and where they will cover you. You have to worry about which medications are covered, you can get bills long after events. You sometimes have to stay at a company for your insurance, particularly if you have chronic conditions. You have that whole year clause where your previous conditions aren't covered. Which means that if I switch my job and dislocate my shoulder I am out about 2,000 in the US. If I do that here ($0) and its faster here because its considered urgent.

There are incompetent doctors everywhere. I have seen plenty in the US. There are bad hospitals in the US...BAD Hospitals in Quebec. You've got to go to good places and advocate for yourself no matter where you are.

I have considered crossing the border to see a doctor for a condition they don't treat well here. I would pay out of pocket and I can afford to it. If I lived in the US...I don't know I would be in the same financial position. I doubt it. Its nice to not have to worry about minor health issues (joint issues & atypical migraines) causing a bankruptcy...and this way I can focus on my family and working.

   comment by Mandolin on July 8, 2012

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