Wednesday, February 20, 2008
On the current TWiL (#12) we range far and wide over such things as the potential congressional bid by Professor Lessig and the U.S. health care system. Canadian Dave Taddeo had the following comments concerning the latter:
as a born and raised canadian citizen, and having lived in the US for 16 months (sacramento) with my family, i was amazed at the lack of health care for the average person in the US and it's one of the reasons we moved back to canada. i'm also quite passionate about the subject and it absolutely amazes me that 300M americans still allow the health care system there to operate the way it does.when we lived in sacramento some of our average income american neighbours with families couldn't afford health care and we were amazed at some of the anecdotes. twenty-two thousand dollars to have a sliver of metal removed from an eye? the same thing happened to me and it cost $0. twenty-six hundred dollars deductible for for an appendectomy that was covered. what?!? i'm not a car. what deductible?
the fact that we canadians are taxed at a much higher rate can be looked at a couple of ways.
1 - i care about my family and my neighbours and the people in my community. my tax dollars pay for the health care of all of them and when i see one of them suffering medically and they're going for treatment i know i'm helping. it's an american thing to see your neighbours suffering and you look at them and shrug your shoulders and say "that's sad but too bad you can't afford it." we care about each other and we put our money where our mouths are. it's worth every cent.
2 - our 'extra' taxes can easily be compared to paying $370/mo. for a family of four (what i was paying in sacramento in 1998). except i can truly go anywhere in canada and go to any hospital and be looked at by any doctor and it'll still be paid for. no one hospital or doctor is off any list. i can be hiking in northern ontario and fall off a cliff. i can be picked up by a helicopter and taken to the closest hospital for emergency care. 3 days later i can be transported by air or ground to a larger facility in toronto (for example) and stay there for 18 months while i learn to walk again and they put my head back together. the only thing i'll have to pay for is the prescription drugs if i need any. it'll cost the tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars but we all know we have the same coverage if something happens to any of us. car crashes, fires, disease... no worries or stress about how and where we'll get the money to pay for these things.
unfortunately america is shown a lot of propaganda about these things in order to keep a few people very rich. michael moore has hopefully opened the eyes of americans and hopefully 'the greatest health care (if you are a millionaire) in the world' lie can be seen as what it is and hopefully your nation can start caring about the health and well being of its citizens and not just what they can afford.
Hopefully indeed. And as long as we're ruminating on timely (and related) political issues, you might also want to check out this Time article on Bringing Babies to Work, and the regular entries at The Huffington Post on A Peaceful Revolution (via MomsRising).
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