Comments on: Memento mori: why single-payer is the only way to go http://www.historiann.com/2008/10/18/memento-mori-why-single-payer-is-the-only-way-to-go/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Wed, 24 Sep 2014 08:09:14 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2008/10/18/memento-mori-why-single-payer-is-the-only-way-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-104885 Sun, 26 Oct 2008 16:19:53 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=1486#comment-104885 Thanks, terri, for stopping by to comment!

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By: terri http://www.historiann.com/2008/10/18/memento-mori-why-single-payer-is-the-only-way-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-104868 Sun, 26 Oct 2008 15:28:29 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=1486#comment-104868 This thoughtful post is greatly appreciated–especially in this season of decision. It was great to have this in the disability blog carnival.

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By: hysperia http://www.historiann.com/2008/10/18/memento-mori-why-single-payer-is-the-only-way-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-102039 Tue, 21 Oct 2008 01:04:04 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=1486#comment-102039 As a Canadian, one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had since introducing myself to the blogosphere back in April has been learning about the impact of ill-health on Americans. One more thing that has to do with luck is which health care system you get born into. I have learned to be even more grateful for mine than I was before. Every now and then a Canadian complains about smokers and others who cost taxpayers money by mistreating themselves. It’s rare, in my experience. I think that most of us realize that if we fall into victim-blaming, we’ll end up disentitling lots of people in those cases where blame can conceivably be laid and I don’t think anyone wants that.

I will say that I have plenty of criticisms of my health care system and I think they’re deserved. We don’t have enough family doctors and that’s the government’s fault, at least in part. It does take a long time to see a specialist but often that’s because many of them have gone to the US to make the really big bucks – not that they experience poverty here! Our system is under-resourced because of government belt-tightening under pressure from people who don’t want higher taxes. And it’s under threat from people who think that universal health care can somehow exist alongside a private system for those who can afford it. It can’t. But most Canadians would defend the health care system even at some cost to themselves. Several years ago, the man who founded the “socialized” universal health care system in this country, Tommy Douglas, was named the greatest Canadian in our history. That’s greater than Wayne Gretzky even! And that’s something.

There have been many serious illnesses in my family, including my brother’s death from leukemia when he was six years old, in 1968. If my parents had been forced to pay for his care, none of us would be where we are now. They didn’t have to pay a cent, not even for clinical trial drugs. Thank you Tommy Douglas and I hope his spirit is out there somewhere, inspiring Americans.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2008/10/18/memento-mori-why-single-payer-is-the-only-way-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-101333 Sun, 19 Oct 2008 17:33:04 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=1486#comment-101333 I’m glad you, too, Ex-pat, had good experiences with the Canadian system re: your parents. As for the difficulty in finding GPs in BC and NS have to do with the urban/rural divide in doctor availability that plagues this nation too. (Doctors don’t want to live outside of major metro areas, which is why sometimes docs who move off the grid, as it were, get educational loan repayments and other financial incentives…) I would imagine that it’s pretty easy to find docs if you live anywhere from Toronto to Quebec City, and maybe in Vancouver, but outside of those cities, it’s probably harder.

You make a good point about the Clintons’ abortive health care reform of 1994. Both the plan and the process were very flawed, and the Clintons didn’t understand that congressional Dems wouldn’t necessarily throw themselves on their swords to get the thing passed. The CHiP programs, passed in the late 1990s, did a really great job of providing children with health coverage–that suggests that you’re right, that’s where she should have started.

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By: Ex-pat http://www.historiann.com/2008/10/18/memento-mori-why-single-payer-is-the-only-way-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-101326 Sun, 19 Oct 2008 17:18:05 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=1486#comment-101326 I have had several experiences with the Canadian health care system.With two very elderly parents in BC neither they nor I was ever worried about how much things would cost.Worry about cost can certainly have an adverse effect on recovery.
A very close friend had symptoms of bowel/GYN disease.She saw her primary care MD in early December, was scheduled for an MRI in March.Fortunately she was working in a medically related field and was able to have strings pulled and had a cancerous growth removed in late December.No chemo, no radiation, no bill.This was also in BC.
I make reference to which province since I believe that all is not equal across Canada. I do know there are difficulties in finding a family practioner in both BC and NS.
I truly believe that if HRC had tried to get a programme for children rather than the entire population we would now have a form of universal health care .As an ex-pat I have observed that you can more easily nibble at the American public than ram programmes down their throats.
Susan, I am glad you are pleased with your father’s care…one less thing to worry about.
As a woman of a certain age, medical care becomes of prime importance when thinking of moving north if McCain /Palin wins, that and persuading three other families to move there too!

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2008/10/18/memento-mori-why-single-payer-is-the-only-way-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-101275 Sun, 19 Oct 2008 14:03:15 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=1486#comment-101275 Hey–thanks Prof. Z! And it never will be…

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By: I Can’t Help Myself « Professor Zero http://www.historiann.com/2008/10/18/memento-mori-why-single-payer-is-the-only-way-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-101066 Sun, 19 Oct 2008 04:00:51 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=1486#comment-101066 [...] great posts now include Historiann on single payer health care, and videos of Obama and McCain at the Alfred E. Smith dinner, at the Rap Up, where I saw the [...]

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By: Professor Zero http://www.historiann.com/2008/10/18/memento-mori-why-single-payer-is-the-only-way-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-101057 Sun, 19 Oct 2008 03:27:19 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=1486#comment-101057 This is a really great post which should be published as an op ed in the Sunday Washington Post.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2008/10/18/memento-mori-why-single-payer-is-the-only-way-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-101004 Sun, 19 Oct 2008 00:50:19 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=1486#comment-101004 Susan, it’s interesting for me to note that the people I know who have direct experience with the Canadian system have only good stories to tell. It’s always someone’s sister-in-laws best friend or someone’s brother’s childhood best friend’s stepfather who had a terrible experience–no one that the story teller knows personally. I have no doubt that the Canadian system needs vigilant monitoring and that there is room for improvement, but I’ve never heard Canadians or their immediate family members complain about the structure of the system or the delivery of care.

Think of the economic security such a system gives people. Think of how it opens the door to a real free market job market, where no one stays in a job because they need the health care plan. Erin was lucky that her insurance covered her baby’s needs. Until we have a saner system, I fear we’ll have to take Erica’s advice about gaming the current system: fake it that you have insurance. (Of course, that’s easier to do if in fact you’ve had insurance recently…some people may be in dire enough straits that their claims to being insured will not be believed.)

But, I guess that feeling of security is only important for Wall Street banks and insurance companies…

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By: Susan http://www.historiann.com/2008/10/18/memento-mori-why-single-payer-is-the-only-way-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-100981 Sun, 19 Oct 2008 00:06:59 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=1486#comment-100981 Amen, sister. I am so with you. This afternoon I was talking to my brother, who had just visited my father in Canada. He has all the multiple problems that are common in those in their mid-80s, and his care has been terrific. They went in for an ultrasound, and he didn’t have to wait more than 5 minutes when he got there. We say prayers of gratitude with great regularity that he lives in Canada and has Canadian health insurance. And for the record, yes, he had to wait for elective knee surgery, but anything important has happened really quickly. He’s even being monitored by a geriatric consultant.

As for the bills here — it’s just incredible. Watching bills for David’s cancer is just terrifying — easily $10,000 a month on chemo; his first surgery — with 6 days in the ICU — was about $200,000. We paid about $10.48 or something ridiculous like that.

One of the best things Obama has said is that if you were starting from scratch you’d go single payer. My hunch is that we’ll get there slowly: once you open the government system to small businesses and individuals, it will begin to cover more and more, and it will become the national system. It may take 10-15 years, but it will happen.

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