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Thread: Canadian health care

  1. #1
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    Default Canadian health care

    John's thread on socialism got me to ask this question:

    I want to hear from the Canadians.

    Are you happy with Canadian health care and would you trade it for the US system?

    I've heard all kind of general horror stories thrown out, but I've also heard people here praise it. So, let the Canadians tell us what they think?
    "Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?" - Groucho Marx

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Three people I knew (worked with) over my 32 years at work used the Canadian system. One, a letter carrier, ironically, suffered a severe dog bite. Another carrier broke his leg skiing in Canada. The third, a maintenance man took quite ill while on vacation there.

    All three got excellent care, and it cost them nothing.

    Back in 2010, a dad at a soccer game was ranting about how all the Canadians come here for their healthcare. I asked, "How do they pay for it?". After a bit of thought, he realized their insurance didn't work this side of the border. Then he realized maybe there's not so many.

    My friend's sister married a guy from, and moved to, Great Britain. She suffered a stroke. Got excellent care, including extended speech therapy; not a dime out of pocket.
    Now he's gone. If only he'd be forgotten.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    All of my Canadian relatives (most of my father’s family) love their health care, and they think Americans are nuts for not adopting something similar.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    I would never, ever, trade what we have for what you have. I can't wrap my head around why so many Americans think their system is so good when all, all, all of the facts say differently.


    I should say that for an individual, with good insurance or money in hand, the doctors and hospitals in the US are unparalleled. But there are far too many not in that bracket.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    I'm at a loss as to why you would restrict this comparison to Canada when almost the entire civilised world uses some variety of health service which is essentially "Free at the point of use"

    Here is a video from an American Ex-Pat resident in the South East of England....
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Canada's got health care that I like a lot - but we're not world leaders. FWIW, we're the second-best loser in terms of value for money in the world, for all that we've historically had half the cost per person for 100% population coverage.

    We ought to be doing universal pharmacare too, but sigh.
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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    Canada's got health care that I like a lot - but we're not world leaders. FWIW, we're the second-best loser in terms of value for money in the world, for all that we've historically had half the cost per person for 100% population coverage.

    We ought to be doing universal pharmacare too, but sigh.
    I would like to see dental included as well.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    In '68 when the Canada Health Act was first passed, it was intended to have pharmacare and dental eventually find their way into the program. We'd do very well to have it, IMO, but there's about 50 years of history and disparate situations across the provinces and territories to overcome.

    Should the Feds ever wish to truly, truly broaden the scope, they'd need to do what they don't want to do - and take over the full freight costs for every jurisdiction, rather than just pony up federal funds to try to fill gaps between the different levels of care which have arisen over the decades. Won't happen, and more's the pity.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    I've lived with both and there's simply no reason to opt for the US system of robbery, none. There are no advantages to it and as we all know myriad and often catastrophic disadvantages.

    I have never seen the mythical Canadian health care horror story actually occurring. As far as I know it doesn't happen. Be careful not to believe US conservative lies.

    As mentioned above it really should include dental. I don't know why it doesn't. Since it works so well for medical it should work just as well for dental.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    "would you trade it for the US system?"

    NEVER

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Folks who voted for Trump like USA health care. Nuff said.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    You're recent heart attack and follow up could have cost you your house down there. Why would anyone want to live in such a ****hole I just don't understand. Well, maybe I do. They've never experienced a government that actually is by the people, for the people and of the people.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    Folks who voted for Trump like USA health care. Nuff said.

    Isn't that the mirror image of the North Koreans who believe that the border fence is to keep out people who are desperate to live in the worker's paradise?

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    <Canadians,> are you happy with Canadian health care and would you trade it for the US system?
    Yes, I am pleased with our national healthcare program. I would not change it for the US system unless you gave me and everyone else in the country a few million dollars each to be able to afford it.


    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    I've heard all kind of general horror stories thrown out, but I've also heard people here praise it. So, let the Canadians tell us what they think?
    I suspect that the horror stories that you have heard are promulgated by conservatives (in your country and mine, but mostly yours) who want to eliminate socialized healthcare, and apologies to anyone whose ox I am about to gore, but these people lie to promote their own cause.

    While there are bound to be outliers in any general comments on efficacy of a social medicine system, I have never heard of anyone complaining of being forced to wait, other than from the terminally disgruntled who want to be in the front of every line that they encounter. Every person whom I know that needed emergency surgery, suffered a disease or illness that required medical intervention, or like many of us have reached the age where they require more frequent medical care, have always received what they needed within a timespan that was appropriate to the situation. All at no fee other than their federal and provincial income taxes paid. Last year I required surgery to remove a large kidney stone, my wife had a planned orthoscopic knee surgery and an emergency gall bladder removal surgery, and her mother had three emergency trip to the hospital for heart troubles and intestinal problems, and we all were seen and treated either immediately or on the agreed-upon date. The costs involved for these hospital visits (four requiring two or more days in-patient, the others day-surgeries) were gas to drive to the hospital and parking fees while there. On top of this, Maureen & I see our doctor every six months, and her Mom sees her doctors every three months, all at no charge. I went to my ophthalmologist last week for an annual check-up (part of the medical regime for a diabetic) and paid nothing.

    It would be nice to have dental and prescription medicine costs covered, and I hope that comes to fruition sooner rather than later.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    The system has its flaws and deficiencies. Would I trade it for a U.S. style system? God, no.

    Come to think of it, I've never met a Canadian who thinks we'd be better off with a system like yours. I'm sure such people exist, but I've never run into one.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care


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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Trade? Never!

    Amend and expand? Yes!

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    You may or may not like Michael Moore, but I'm only aware of the CNN doctor having a factual problem with "Sicko", and he ended up apologizing and admitting Moore had his facts correct.

    "Sicko" compared our system to several other systems.
    Now he's gone. If only he'd be forgotten.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    I want to hear from the Canadians.

    Are you happy with Canadian health care and would you trade it for the US system?
    Considering that there is no "US system", but rather a broad range of choices, the question leads to very biased responses.

    A large number of individuals believe that employer paid healthcare is a middle class entitlement. Many employers offer such entitlements and fully cover employee healthcare expenses. It is hard to claim that is less desirable than the Canadian system where individuals pay for healthcare through taxes.

    Another large number of individuals have individual policies where they pay premiums based on their own risk rather than a group risk. hey find such policies to be a better option than group policies. Again it is hard to claim that is less desirable than the Canadian system.

    It is more likely that Canadians will compare their system to poor choices that US consumers have made. Despite what choice they personally would have made had they lived in the US.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    It's not perfect. You can wait months for an MRI if the issue is non-life-threatening -- and because of the visual politics I am not allowed to get together with a few other investors and buy one, to rent it out.

    Unless of course if it's for a dog. Then you can get an MRI next day.

    So, our system doesn't always make sense.

    Also, we are not paying the cost of it. Right now Universal Health Care is about 23% of the federal budget. And our national expenditures grossly exceed our national income. But is that a problem? Apparently not. Going deeper into debt as a nation doesn't seem to generate any bad effects. So I don't worry about it.

    When I think about all this I visualize my cleaning-lady. She works hard for a living, supports other people, has no assets, and her income just barely covers their expenses. If she had a serious medical problem there is not a chance she would ever be able to pay for any major intervention. And yet she is a fine and worthwhile person, volunteering for many causes. An asset to the community.

    So... I think our system here in Canada is worth preserving.

    BUT... since most Canadians live close to the US border, an unmentionable AND COMPLETELY FORBIDDEN UTTERLY TABOO CONVERSATION HERE is that if you really want something done in a hurry, you normally can drive across the border (Buffalo, Detroit, Seattle) and get it done if you can cover the cost.

    In general, the Canadian system is extremely good at addressing the life-threatening high-cost items. You jump to the head of the line. But not so good at the smaller stuff -- you can wait months.

    Dave

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post

    It is more likely that Canadians will compare their system to poor choices that US consumers have made. Despite what choice they personally would have made had they lived in the US.
    As I see it, the problem is that so many US citizens have no choice. There is nothing wrong with the quality of healthcare in the US, the problem is accessing it. Civilised countries the world over have eliminated those problems.
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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    Considering that there is no "US system", but rather a broad range of choices, the question leads to very biased responses.

    A large number of individuals believe that employer paid healthcare is a middle class entitlement. Many employers offer such entitlements and fully cover employee healthcare expenses. It is hard to claim that is less desirable than the Canadian system where individuals pay for healthcare through taxes.

    Another large number of individuals have individual policies where they pay premiums based on their own risk rather than a group risk. hey find such policies to be a better option than group policies. Again it is hard to claim that is less desirable than the Canadian system.

    It is more likely that Canadians will compare their system to poor choices that US consumers have made. Despite what choice they personally would have made had they lived in the US.
    Excuse me, but what planet do you live on? People with good health coverage don't dare leave the job they hate because they know it'll cost them untold amounts of money. Most working folks nowadays have mediocre coverage - that still costs them a lot of money. People who work for themselves cannot afford real heath insurance.

    I'm on medicare now, but my partner still has to have private insurance (she's a Realtor & therefore self-employed). "Real" health insurance - what one could afford maybe 20 years ago - that has a $500 deductible & covers most everything after that is roughly $1900/month for just her. I'll do the math for you - that's just about $23,000 per year to cover a healthy woman in her early 60's. Instead, she has a plan with a 5K deductible - and that still costs $780/month - $9300/year.

    So - please explain to me how we've made poor choices - other than to choose growing older rather than suicide.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Tell me about it. I am self employed and married to an immigrant old enough for Medicare, but who cannot qualify for Medicare. And a 24 year old daughter. I pay almost as much for health insurance (not counting deductible and copays) as my mortgage.
    Elect a clown expect a circus

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    The cost to me here in Canada for full prescription drug and (most) dental coverage is around $3,500 annually for a married couple. It is tax time so I happened to be looking at my unsubsidised group insurance bill yesterday.

    If Canadians really want so called "full medical coverage", in addition to the existing free (equals tax payer funded) hospital and local doctor services, then that seems likely to be the additional public expenditure required. Probably many billions in total, but I have not done the math. Many people have some sort of a similar scheme to ours via providers like Blue Cross, and I suspect are mostly satisfied with the resulting mixed public/private system, I would be happy enough with a completely public system (which is unlikely in the near future because of constitutional issues) but would be uncomfortable if it was paid for by adding to the national debt. That strikes me as a bit dishonest, somehow.

    Tony.
    Last edited by Tonyr; 03-01-2021 at 07:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    It looks like a consistent response to me.

    My story is a Chinese graduate student studying in America who got sick in Montreal while we were there. He was treated, did well, and never paid a dime.

    The next time I hear about the horrors of socialized medicine, I can say, "I asked every Canadian I know and none of them will trade with us!"
    "Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?" - Groucho Marx

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Tom,
    I heard on CBC just last week about when our medical plan came into being. Apparently the Dentists and Pharmacists fought tooth and nail not to be included in it. The doctors were not keen on it but were eventually swayed. As you said, we'll need to rope in the dental plans and drug plans to really have a good system. Drugs are expensive. Buying a lot of them is one way to bring the cost down. Different provinces cover different things and it's a hodge-podge of coverage from province to province with the feds filling in the gaps. If drugs were purchased nationally, they'd be buying larger parcels of them and they'd be able to negotiate cheaper rates. I think I heard somewhere years ago that it's in the works, or at least, being looked at. Hopefully someone can bring that to be since our system, while infinitely better than the US system, still has it's flaws.
    Would I trade it for the US system? Not in a million billion kazillion years. Now, adding in a layer of services you can pay for to get more quickly, sure. If you can afford it. And before someone starts complaining that if you have the money to buy a spot ahead of you in line, you shouldn't get the other coverage everyone else gets, I call bullocks to you. If you can afford to have your knee fixed so you pay for your knee to be fixed, there's no reason the government shouldn't cover you for knee surgery. Just that you've paid for it yourself and now your spot that is covered, is not needed so you've saved the government the cost of a knee surgery without having to do anything within the system to opt out or achieve that. If you can afford your knee surgery, you go get your knee fixed if you want. If you don't choose to pay, you wait in line like everyone else. But when you have a heart attack and stay in hospital for 2 weeks after surgery to fix it..... now THAT is something you can't afford, so it's covered and you get what you need, funded by the taxpayer. If you can afford better heart attack care because you're a rock star, hockey player or business tycoon of some sort, then have at 'er, you'll save the government coffers the cost of heart attack care without ruffling any feathers.
    Part of American doctor's problems is payment. When do you bring up payment? I just stitched your 4 year old's hand back together, here's the fishing hook I took out. That'll be $XXXX. I can't imagine a doctor having to deal with that. Bill the government and move to the next patient.
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    ....
    Part of American doctor's problems is payment. When do you bring up payment? I just stitched your 4 year old's hand back together, here's the fishing hook I took out. That'll be $XXXX. I can't imagine a doctor having to deal with that. Bill the government and move to the next patient.
    It's worse than that. The doctor may have to bill 3 or 4 insurance companies - all of whom use different forms, terms, requirements, etc. - and then wait to see what each pays & finally bill the patient the balance. My primary doctor is part of a practice that includes 6 Doctors & 3 Physician's Assistants (PAs act like a doc most of the time). They have 2 full-time people that do nothing but billing + the receptionists also take payments from patients.

    Do not get my doc started on how wasteful/expensive our system is.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    I am not a Canadian, but I lived in Canada (permanent resident) from 1978 to 2000. The Canadian health care system worked flawlessly for me and my wife. Now that we are back in the US on Medicare we have almost equivalent coverage (we have to pay the annual Part B deductible $203 in 2021), but that coverage costs the two of us about $8,200 a year in addition to our taxes. If we couldn't afford the supplemental coverage we would be in a very different position and medical treatment would be an issue. I definitely preferred the Canadian system of everyone having full medical coverage all the time independent of employment.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    Considering that there is no "US system", but rather a broad range of choices, the question leads to very biased responses.

    A large number of individuals believe that employer paid healthcare is a middle class entitlement. Many employers offer such entitlements and fully cover employee healthcare expenses. It is hard to claim that is less desirable than the Canadian system where individuals pay for healthcare through taxes.

    Another large number of individuals have individual policies where they pay premiums based on their own risk rather than a group risk. hey find such policies to be a better option than group policies. Again it is hard to claim that is less desirable than the Canadian system.

    It is more likely that Canadians will compare their system to poor choices that US consumers have made. Despite what choice they personally would have made had they lived in the US.
    Once again, it is overlooked. the COST to employers of health insurance for their employees is often more than the wages. It is a major factor in the 'high cost of American labor' and ought not be ignored.
    Now he's gone. If only he'd be forgotten.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    It's not perfect. You can wait months for an MRI if the issue is non-life-threatening -- and because of the visual politics I am not allowed to get together with a few other investors and buy one, to rent it out.

    Unless of course if it's for a dog. Then you can get an MRI next day.

    So, our system doesn't always make sense.

    Also, we are not paying the cost of it. Right now Universal Health Care is about 23% of the federal budget. And our national expenditures grossly exceed our national income. But is that a problem? Apparently not. Going deeper into debt as a nation doesn't seem to generate any bad effects. So I don't worry about it.

    When I think about all this I visualize my cleaning-lady. She works hard for a living, supports other people, has no assets, and her income just barely covers their expenses. If she had a serious medical problem there is not a chance she would ever be able to pay for any major intervention. And yet she is a fine and worthwhile person, volunteering for many causes. An asset to the community.

    So... I think our system here in Canada is worth preserving.

    BUT... since most Canadians live close to the US border, an unmentionable AND COMPLETELY FORBIDDEN UTTERLY TABOO CONVERSATION HERE is that if you really want something done in a hurry, you normally can drive across the border (Buffalo, Detroit, Seattle) and get it done if you can cover the cost.

    In general, the Canadian system is extremely good at addressing the life-threatening high-cost items. You jump to the head of the line. But not so good at the smaller stuff -- you can wait months.

    Dave
    For what it's worth, I've waited in the US for a couple of months for a non-urgent test.
    Now he's gone. If only he'd be forgotten.

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Excuse me, but what planet do you live on? People with good health coverage don't dare leave the job they hate because they know it'll cost them untold amounts of money. Most working folks nowadays have mediocre coverage - that still costs them a lot of money. People who work for themselves cannot afford real heath insurance.

    I'm on medicare now, but my partner still has to have private insurance (she's a Realtor & therefore self-employed). "Real" health insurance - what one could afford maybe 20 years ago - that has a $500 deductible & covers most everything after that is roughly $1900/month for just her. I'll do the math for you - that's just about $23,000 per year to cover a healthy woman in her early 60's. Instead, she has a plan with a 5K deductible - and that still costs $780/month - $9300/year.

    So - please explain to me how we've made poor choices - other than to choose growing older rather than suicide.
    havenít you learned heís a retiree who just makes stufff up to smugly troll? This isnít the first time itís been pointed out heís a clueless fool, he just doubles down, because people stilll believe the lies.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    It's worse than that. The doctor may have to bill 3 or 4 insurance companies - all of whom use different forms, terms, requirements, etc. - and then wait to see what each pays & finally bill the patient the balance. My primary doctor is part of a practice that includes 6 Doctors & 3 Physician's Assistants (PAs act like a doc most of the time). They have 2 full-time people that do nothing but billing + the receptionists also take payments from patients.

    Do not get my doc started on how wasteful/expensive our system is.
    Probably a lot more than four different insurance providers and forms. A staff is needed to deal with multiple insurance carriers, driving up costs.

    Here we have private insurance companies, who are in business to make a profit, and CEO's need their high salaries an bonuses.

    I've posted before that, when I was working, I paid 25% of my health insurance, which was $200 every two weeks. My employer was paying $600 every two weeks; 26 times a year. That's $15,600. At the time, my annual salary was $13,000.

    Don't tell me this is not a major reason why companies move out of the US.
    Now he's gone. If only he'd be forgotten.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    Probably a lot more than four different insurance providers and forms. A staff is needed to deal with multiple insurance carriers, driving up costs.

    Here we have private insurance companies, who are in business to make a profit, and CEO's need their high salaries an bonuses.

    I've posted before that, when I was working, I paid 25% of my health insurance, which was $200 every two weeks. My employer was paying $600 every two weeks; 26 times a year. That's $15,600. At the time, my annual salary was $13,000.

    Don't tell me this is not a major reason why companies move out of the US.
    I meant that the doctor might have to bill 3 or 4 companies for a single patient's visit. Overall it's at least 25 - all with different forms, different names for procedures & different payment amounts for each one. It's a nightmare for them.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    FWIW, I can't comment on the Canadian system, but I can comment on the UK system. SWMBO's family seems to get excellent care there and as with the Canadian system, important/urgent procedures are handled quickly and efficiently, while some routine things may take a little bit longer - but not a month. The thing that I have noticed about UK hospitals that I have seen is that they don't tend to be gold-plated palaces with soaring spaces in the way some are in the US. The money goes towards the staff, the equipment, the facilities and the procedures in a relatively efficient way.

    Both sprogs are UK citizens by virtue of their mother. Because they haven't been resident in the country for more than 6 months, technically they're not eligible to be covered. However, when we were in the UK on one occasion, Da Boy had an allergic reaction that required a trip to a nearby ER. He was seen promptly, there was no bill for service, and the medication that was prescribed was filled at the on-site pharmacy at a very reasonable rate.

    Frankly, I'd be very happy to have a system similar to that of either Canada or the UK here in the US - or of many other European countries as well.
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    Default Re: Canadian health care

    I am in hospital recovering from a heart attack even now as we speak. When I'm discharged I will probably pay about dollor a day for blood thinners.
    That's it!
    basil

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