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Canadians healthier than Americans

Onthereals

TRIBE Member
And who thinks that adopting an American style health system will be better?


Canadians healthier than Americans: study

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
Tue May 30, 4:32 PM ET



Despite complaints about long waits for services, Canadians are healthier than their U.S. neighbors and receive more consistent medical care, according to a report released on Tuesday.
A telephone survey of more than 8,000 people showed that even though Americans spend nearly twice as much per capita for health care, they have more trouble getting care and have more unmet health needs than Canadians do.
The survey was done by Harvard Medical School researchers who include members of Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates for a national health program in the United States.
"These findings raise serious questions about what we're getting for the $2.1 trillion we're spending on health care this year," said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard.
"We pay almost twice what Canada does for care, more than $6,000 for every American, yet Canadians are healthier, and live two to three years longer," Himmelstein added in a statement.
"Canadians had better access to most types of medical care (with the single exception of pap smears)," Himmelstein and colleagues wrote in the study, published in the American Journal of Public Health.
"Canadians were 7 percent more likely to have a regular doctor and 19 percent less likely to have an unmet health need. U.S. respondents were almost twice as likely to go without a needed medicine due to cost (9.9 percent of U.S. respondents couldn't afford medicine versus 5.1 percent in Canada)," they added.
UNMET NEEDS
"After taking into account income, age, sex, race and immigrant status, Canadians were 33 percent more likely to have a regular doctor and 27 percent less likely to have an unmet health need."
The researchers analyzed data from a telephone survey of 3,505 Canadian and 5,103 U.S. adults.
They wanted to see if there were any differences in health between Canadians, who have a tax-supported national health care system, and Americans, whose health care largely depends on private insurers, employers or the free market, with older Americans and the very poor cared for by Medicare, Medicaid and other joint federal-state health insurance plans.
The researchers found that U.S. residents had higher rates of diabetes, arthritis, chronic lung disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
"Most of what we hear about the Canadian health care system is negative; in particular, the long waiting times for medical procedures," Dr. Karen Lasser an instructor of medicine at Harvard who worked on the study, said in a statement.
"But we found that waiting times affect few patients, only 3.5 percent of Canadians versus 0.7 percent of people in the U.S. No one ever talks about the fact that low-income and minority patients fare better in Canada," she added.
"Based on our findings, if I had to choose between the two systems for my patients, I would choose the Canadian system hands down."
The researchers said the study population was representative of 206 million U.S. adults and 24 million Canadian adults but noted that only half the Americans contacted took part in the survey, and 60 percent of the Canadians.
 
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TrIbAlNuT

TRIBE Member
Everyone always bitches about how long it takes to see a specialist or to get an advanced diagnostic test done in Canada. At least now people will see that a public health care system, with its faults is still better than a for-profit system like the states.
 
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Michlerish

Well-Known TRIBEr
VERY interesting read... but does the fact that it was a phone survey skew the results a bit?

I mean, you're more likely to complain about something if you had to pay $6,000 for it, than if you had gotten it for free.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
hmmm

$9 = 1.75 litre bottle of vodka
$12 = 24 of beer
$3.50 = pack of 20 smokes
$4.00 = all you can eat KFC

If we look only at the cost of health care and availibility we are likely overlooking the causes. My health costs in the USA are slightly under half of what I paid (as percentage of income tax) while living in Ontario. However I as a healthy person have the option to only purchase emergency medical coverage which ends up costing about $75 per month.

75 * 12 = 900
Health Care represents %30 of your total income tax thus I pay the equivilent of what someone who makes around 17,000 a year. I used to pay close to 7 times this amount living in Ontario.
 

Thumpr

TRIBE Member
all you can eat KFC?!? it's crap like that which is making the american population unhealthier despite paying double for their healthcare!
 

Onthereals

TRIBE Member
Ditto Much said:
hmmm

$9 = 1.75 litre bottle of vodka
$12 = 24 of beer
$3.50 = pack of 20 smokes
$4.00 = all you can eat KFC

If we look only at the cost of health care and availibility we are likely overlooking the causes. My health costs in the USA are slightly under half of what I paid (as percentage of income tax) while living in Ontario. However I as a healthy person have the option to only purchase emergency medical coverage which ends up costing about $75 per month.

75 * 12 = 900
Health Care represents %30 of your total income tax thus I pay the equivilent of what someone who makes around 17,000 a year. I used to pay close to 7 times this amount living in Ontario.


Sure, for you, things are fine, but what if you became unhealthy? What would the costs turn out to be then? What about the society at large, do you care (I imagine you dont really) about the millions around you that are uninsured and have health problems and cant afford to do anything about it? Or do you just avoid neighbourhoods where these type of people live, so you dont have to interact with them?
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Onthereals said:
Sure, for you, things are fine, but what if you became unhealthy? What would the costs turn out to be then? What about the society at large, do you care (I imagine you dont really) about the millions around you that are uninsured and have health problems and cant afford to do anything about it? Or do you just avoid neighbourhoods where these type of people live, so you dont have to interact with them?


Okay your welcome to be condescending if you'd like. You'll find however that when each question you ask is of the nature of "do you still beat your wife?" very few people well entertain you with an answer.

What if you became unhealthy?

Statistically unlikely given current circumstances, I wouldn't suggest my approach for anything other than my personal views or circumstance. However of your 23 just starting out and in perfect shape and health well you can put off paying for much health care (beyond what I have) until your starting a family or about to hit into your 30's.

In my case I do the VERY wrong thing and fell back to Canada.


What would the costs turn out to be then?

They would very depending on the level of service I would make. If I choose a cheap hospital or an expensive one. If its emergency or elective. In my case I have emergency coverage, if I get into an accident or trip and fall or if my appendix blows out. However outside of this I'd be pretty fucked with my level of coverage. Its a gamble that I'm taking.


What about the society at large, do you care (I imagine you dont really) about the millions around you that are uninsured and have health problems and cant afford to do anything about it?

Wow that’s cold. But I will still respond.

I think that basic coverage is important and that all people should be able to access it. I however don't feel that this should restrict a persons ability to make the same choice that the Amish in Ontario have made. The Amish do not believe in any insurance outside of 'gods will' and thus do not have ANY health coverage in Ontario. If they get sick they have to pay for hospital services out of pocket and they don't pay health taxes because of it. I simply want the option to opt out and not be forced into any deal related to health.

Or do you just avoid neighborhoods where these type of people live, so you don’t have to interact with them?

Who the fuck mounted you on a cross asshole!

Alright now I will answer your question.

There is nothing in most poor neighborhoods for me to see or do. There are nicer restaurants outside of these neighborhoods, better bars, better pools, better malls, and better shops. I have no reason to go into these neighborhoods because there is nothing there for me. If I were to go it would be to be a tourist or to take pictures to show others.

I don't avoid these areas, however I have no reason to go to them either. If I do I will not feel guilty as I do not feel that a person has ownership or rights over a neighborhood.
 
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oh toro

TRIBE Member
Onthereals said:
Sure, for you, things are fine, but what if you became unhealthy? What would the costs turn out to be then? What about the society at large, do you care (I imagine you dont really) about the millions around you that are uninsured and have health problems and cant afford to do anything about it? Or do you just avoid neighbourhoods where these type of people live, so you dont have to interact with them?

both healthcare systems have their pros/cons, however, i'd rather have my plan (i live in the us) than ohip. i can get stuff like an MRI today whereas under ohip you have to wait several months. waiting more than a week or two, imo, is not really what i consider healthcare.

otoh, a lot of people have deductibles to pay in addition to healthcare plan dues. i'm fortunate in that my company covers everything.
 

Onthereals

TRIBE Member
Here with the two previous posts which deals with american examples, it comes to the same scene when talking about healthcare. 'I got a decent job so, they cover my healthcare or I can afford to blah blah blah, so its no issue for me'. Its all very personal. Its like the ability to give a shit about the rest of society has stopped working. That might be a little unfair though. Because with a subject like health, personal experience is mainly what you judge the healthcare system on.

Fine, Amish choose not to pay for their healthcare, I am talking about those who have no choice, like poor people. You complain about waiting for an MRI in Canada, but at the same time, there are millions in America who cant afford to get an MRI, period. Yah, Canadians may need to wait, but at least everyone has access. The study reflects that. Those who dont have healthcare, are the ones who are tipping the polls.

So Ditto, you say you see it as being unlikely about your health failing. What I meant to mean was, put yourself in the position of being unhealthy, despite all odds, and tell me how much it would cost, unlikely or not. Would it cost more? What if you lost your job? Would you still be able to afford it? Highly doubt it. At least in Canada, one can have an 'unlikely' downturn in their life, financial, situation and not have to worry about medical bills. I know its blasphemous to admit it, but I prefer living in a society where at the very least, this is provided to all of its citizens.
 

ravinjunkie

TRIBE Member
oh toro said:
i'm fortunate in that my company covers everything.
exactly. most people can't afford healthcare. Yes, in Canada we may have to wait long for it, but we aren't stressing about whether we can afford the surgery or not. I'm talking from an ER perspective not the aftermath when it comes to prescriptions e.t.c.

Who is the most likely to stress out in the ER room waiting for their loved one to seek attention?

The Canadian who doesn't have to worry about paying for the surgery then and there

or

The American who does not have any health coverage, because they simply cannot afford it.
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
I've had the chance to live in the US. Health Care is affordable to few. Most families go bankrupt or in serious debt once confronted with a majour surgery. People have no idea how high hospital costs are! Think about it... Nurses get something in the range of $25/hour and up and doctors get paid anywhere from $80/hour and up. Now factor in all the support staff and equipment and you have yourself a recepy for one extremely expensive hospital or doctor bill.

Ditto Much does bring up a good point... You should be able to opt out of ohip if you wish...
 
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