Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For . . .

[Welcome New York Times readers!]

Universal, free health care. Sounds great, right?

And why is it the United States is the "only" industrialized country that lacks universal health care? Why is it our citizens feel the current system is broken and want what others have?

Perhaps because they don't know the reality of how health care really works, or doesn't work, in other countries.

Take Canada for example.

Their national health care plan started about the same time Medicare started here. But how well does it work?

Why not ask someone who lived it?

Sarah Canez' mother was born in Canada. Many of her aunt's and uncle's still live there. Her was a nurse and her husband was a doctor. Both are now deceased but were employed by the government.

Here are some of Sarah's words.

"Those relatives of mine who have become pregnant or have small children have few complaints about their health care system. Canada's maternity and delivery hospitals are great, as long as there are no major problems. I have sent my relatives news stories about the lack of neonatal facilities in Alberta and Saskatchewan that recount that, recently, more than 200 laboring women with at risk pregnancies have been airlifted to Bozeman, Montana because there were no available beds anywhere in Canada for at-risk babies after delivery.

My relatives in Canada haven't heard anything about this - must not be something their press wants to publicize. However, if one of the children is sick, or has an earache, pediatricians will make house calls. Yes, it's true! And working moms can stay home after delivery and choose to receive either their full salary for six months or half their salary for 12 months. They tell me it is paid by the government but we all know it is paid by their taxes, which run 50-60% of gross income."

This is an eye opening article that is a must read for anyone wishing for the same thing other countries have.

For access to the full article, go here. Once you access the site, use the SEARCH feature and enter "Canada" to view the entire article.

Thanks to Sarah for her insight and willingness to share this information.

Sarah Canez is an agent in San Antonio, Texas. If you would like to contact her, you can reach Sarah by emailing sarahgcanez at yahoo dot com.

UPDATE: A number of folks at the NYT site are expressing doubts about the veracity of this story. Since the article in question is somewhat challenging to access, we've located an easier link.

UPDATE 2: For those who doubt that events such as these are extraordinary, Bob has some useful links here.
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