Thursday, September 03, 2009

Canadians Don't Know What A "Co-Pay" Is

Update #1: I found the above video on Some background on how the video came about, from Karoli via the source link:
"In the spirit of truth, my friend Matte Black (@Shoq on Twitter) and his brother took their video camera to Canada on vacation to interview Canadians about their health care system. When we talked about it, I asked him to try to get negative views with specifics for balance. Here is the result. It has been edited for brevity, but the negative views were not removed, because there were none. He could not find one Canadian who thought they should kill the system. These are everyday people. They have no agenda at all other than being patriotic Canadians."
Update #2: I was wondering, since Canada manages to cover everyone, if their taxes are higher. I found this from the Denver Post:
Debunking Canadian Health Care Myths
"In actuality, taxes are nearly equal on both sides of the border. Overall, Canada's taxes are slightly higher than those in the U.S. However, Canadians are afforded many benefits for their tax dollars, even beyond health care (e.g., tax credits, family allowance, cheaper higher education), so the end result is a wash. At the end of the day, the average after-tax income of Canadian workers is equal to about 82 percent of their gross pay. In the U.S., that average is 81.9 percent."


Anonymous said...

Everyone in America should watch this video. I'm sending it to everyone I know. Thanks Bix.


Anonymous said...

Canadians can keep their healthcare. No thank you. I know many canadian who come to Florida in the winter. They have private health insurance for Canada and them get the majority of their care when their in Florida. Of course, these are the wealthy ones, the majority of the population waits and waits and waits. You must have found the five canadians who like their healthcare. I'm going to send this to all my friends so they can get a good laugh.

Bix said...

I want to not know what a co-pay is.

Perovskia said...

Pfft.. *I* want to know what a co-pay is.

Anonymous #2 - I'm sorry you find our health care so laughable. I'm not complaining. I get treated when I need to get treated. I don't "wait and wait and wait" and there's no reason anyone rich or poor, should get discriminated against health care. This video is normal to me and what most Canadians think of our health care. I didn't think it was a perfect representation, but it's close. I think there's more to laugh at the video, than the topic.

Anonymous said...

You can pay people to say they like anything.

Bix said...

Perovskia, I'm glad you weighed in. I was curious what you thought.

There's some background about the making-of the video. I'll add it to the post.

Perovskia said...

I thought our taxes were about even, but I wasn't sure so I didn't say anything.

Now there isn't to say we don't have some gripes about the health care. It took me a few months to get referred to a G.I. specialist. But for having a "free" health care system, I don't feel I need to complain much (even though it's not free and I pay taxes into it where I could complain).

I didn't care for the girl in the blue, in the video, she kinda bothered me. But the others, represents our usual stand.

Perovskia said...

Right, so.... what's a co-pay?

Perovskia said...

And talking about costs; here's a good example.

I forgot about a doctor appointment this morning (sigh.. I slept in then remembered an hour later). I might get billed for this appointment. Yes, it's initially covered by our health care, but if we miss appointments, they feel they have a right to charge us (it almost usually never happens *touch wood* but for the sake of argument).

Ben P. DaSalt said...

That’s great and all, but we don’t have rational discussions about health care in this country, we don’t discuss “facts” or examine “evidence” from existing models, we throw around rhetoric and when push comes to shove, our proud American legacy of invention is something to behold.

“You keep away your death panels away from my grandma Mr. Hussein Obama!”

92% of Canadians say they like their health care? But that is just a statistic and statistics are just numbers and numbers are just abstractions, and abstractions are basically not real.

Besides, what about the other half of the 92% of people whose freedom is being trampled, living under oppressive Canadian tyranny?

Government health care is not in the Constitution. It’s not what our founding fathers wanted. The Constitution is an immutable document like the other important document that founded this country, the Bible.

Canada by definition is not the United States of America, therefore they and anything they do is unAmerican, Why would we do unAmerican things in America. Why do you hate America?

There are vested interests of insurance and pharmaceutical companies to consider, we call that capitalism and it’s what makes America great. Take your Marxist ideology back to your socialist Canadian commie pinkos.

Bix said...

You're right. It does get emotional, then irrational.

I've seen some good debate out there though. I understand the insurance companies are in fact eager to sign up several million customers. Drug companies see benefit in having more insured customers too.

Personally, I feel that practices like denying benefits after-the-fact, discriminating for pre-existing conditions, and capping benefits, need to change.

Perovskia said...


You've insulted my country, therefore you've insulted me. I can't even find the words to reply to your comment without ripping you apart. I hope your views on the rest of the world aren't as closed.

Anonymous said...

How people have behaved both in public and online during this debate has given a clear indication of what some want as the future of this country. I'm not sure how name calling and demagoguery is suppose to help, perhaps for those who use these tactics the point isn't even to help, only to preserve ones place or to condemn. Much in the way that we as citizens and our leadership behaved in the wake of 9/11, how we act now will be the clearest indication of who we want to be going into the future.

Ben P. DaSalt said...

Perovshia, please file my last comment as satire. I probably should have signed it with a disclaimer.

It’s not my usually posting style, but the continued shenanigans from a certain demographic of the US population is hardening my cynicism.

I wasn’t even very creative though since those kinds of “talking points” are easy to come by; and not just from undereducated Joe and Jane taxpayer, but also from prominent public figures. It’s depressing.

Canada’s a great country, my apologies for any distress I may have inadvertently caused.

Perovskia said...


Thank you. I don't know how to read you yet, so a disclaimer would have helped :P You have every right to be cynical.

As a side note, from a Canadian perspective (which might not mean anything)... The U.S may or may not be able to attain a nationalized health care system. You know what? I hope you do. BUT, I don't think it'll happen overnight. Not by a long shot. We've had it for hundreds of years; a country can't just walk in, willy-nilly and hope to have it in 6 months. I hope Obama sees how much incredible work he has ahead of him, how many details he has to iron out and how many people he has to please. I don't envy him.

As a second side note, Alberta was fighting (and I want to say they have it now, but I'm not 100%) a two-tiered health care system. They have the national health care (that's always automatic), but then you can also *pay* if you want something sooner at a private clinic (lets not lie, some of our waiting times for things are atrocious). There's a whole bunch of politics and moral objections the country ("people") had against that. But there's that option for you guys as well.

Bix said...

Interesting, Perovskia, about your "two-tiered" system. Peter Singer, in his article from July, said:

Why We Must Ration Health Care

"Rationing public health care limits free choice if private health insurance is prohibited. But many countries combine free national health insurance with optional private insurance. Australia, where I’ve spent most of my life and raised a family, is one. The U.S. could do something similar. This would mean extending Medicare to the entire population, irrespective of age, but without Medicare’s current policy that allows doctors wide latitude in prescribing treatments for eligible patients."

Maybe this is the system countries gravitate to over time. As Obama said last night, we have to find a way to cover more people, and to prevent those who do have insurance from experiencing financial catastrophe if they get sick ... but we have to do that without harming the private insurance industry, which represents one-sixth of our economy.

Ben P. DaSalt said...

Perovskia, some liberal supporters are already down on Obama because he won’t be able to get very far with health care.

I’m not expecting much, it is going to take time to get a system that the country is pleased with (whatever that system is) and it will most likely be longer than Obama’s term.

I’m just glad the political discussion is taking place again after an eight-year hiatus of the Bush administration. The conversation had started but got shut down. If the Democrats had held office after Clinton, we’d likely be eight-plus years into some sort of health care reform by now.

Perovskia said...

Ben... So the Democrats started this talk before? I don't think I remember. And how can supporters be down on him already? What does that say for support? I'm starting to wonder if the poor guy even had a chance before he stepped foot in office.

Bix...Interesting article. I think too, that a combination of nationalized (note I didn't say 'socialized') health care and private insurance companies would be ideal. But I'm confused; what does protecting the insurance companies do? Yes, they're for the individual, but what does that have to do with the economy, other than maybe having people spend less? Does it tie in with Federal spending somehow? Is there something I'm not getting? Would it not be beneficial for the State to help people spend less on health care, so say, they could spend it on other stuff and make the economy grow that way? Poor wording, but you know what I mean. Sorry, so many questions.

Bix said...

I took Obama's comments (about protecting the insurance industry) to mean...

The insurance industry contributes much, a sixth, to our worth as a nation. It employs lots of people who, in turn, pay taxes, buy things (in doing so support other businesses), make investments. It's not feasible to shut down? such a big chunk of our economy overnight. I don't think.

Bix said...

Oh yes, the Democrats started this conversation before. Bill Clinton ran on a healthcare platform back in 1992. A year later he gave a big address (reminiscent of Obama's address to Congress except Clinton's was to the nation. I remember it.) outlining a healthcare plan which was supposed to cover more people, to be more like universal healthcare.

There was so much opposition to it from industry that it died. When Bush took over in 2000, his answer to lack of healthcare was compassionate conservatism ... allowing the market (not government) to provide for the less fortunate. I don't see that it worked.

Those are some of my memories.

Bix said...

My take on your other question, Perovskia...

Just because the government provides healthcare, causing people to spend less directly for their care, doesn't mean people won't pay for it indirectly.

If people spend less on healthcare, someone still has to pay that healthcare bill - pay into the pool (the premiums), pay the cost for drugs and treatments. Who is that person? If it's the government, they have to get the money from somewhere. They can take it away from other programs, or they can ask people to contribute more from their income (taxes), or they can borrow (increasing the deficit). Hard to get people to agree on how to pay for it.

Cost containment has to be a part of reform. Lots of details in that ... I was listening for those details in Obama's speech, but he kept it general. He did mention malpractice reform, but how to do it is controversial. There are other ways to contain costs - bargaining down the cost of drugs, coordinating care, rationing care (omg), and (somehow!) keeping people from getting sick in the first place (here, Obama mentioned mammograms and colonoscopies, but there are sooooo many other ways to improve the nations' health, like improving our food, that get mired in politics. He played it safe.)

Bix said...

I agree with Ben. If Gore had won in 2000, I think we'd be well on our way to having fewer uninsured and underinsured.

Anonymous said...

You should write a newspaper column Bix.

Leonard said...

Did anybody notice that they all (except for maybe Dave and Stan and that's a maybe) look younger than their ages posted?? Does that have anything to do with their healthcare system? Dunno.
Thanks Bix, stealing it for my blog but will give you props (credit, in the non hood world.) I am SUCH an honest thief! ;) peace

Bix said...

I'll go along with that...
Tamara looks younger than 40. Richard looks younger than 50. Emily looks younger than 90!

(I'll come over to your blog and rag you about it.)

Perovskia said...

I can't look back and compare looks with ages. If I watch that girl in the blue anymore, I'll want to punch her.