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Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege

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Author Topic: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege  (Read 1271 times)
Volitzer
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« Reply #120 on: August 05, 2009, 11:57:59 pm »

The government needs to do something to regulate healthcare but NOT run healthcare.

The costs of healthcare in this country has caused many companies to go overseas and to Canada where there is some regulation of costs and companies can be profitable again.

However I've heard that in a single payer system the young get prioritized in healthcare and the older are put on a waiting list and die while waiting for treatment.

We need to work on our system like governmental price ceilings in the free-market of medicine.  That refusing treatment to the irresponsible.  Like all these idiots that drink TAB and all these diet colas.  How much liver cancer has aspartame caused over the years ??  That and smokers.
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Krista Davenport
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« Reply #121 on: August 06, 2009, 02:14:14 am »

Quote
The government needs to do something to regulate healthcare but  NOT  run healthcare.

Wrong.  The only way that prices are controlled is for government to be involved in setting them, NOT the insurance industries.

Quote
However I've heard that in a single payer system the young get prioritized in healthcare and the older are put on a waiting list and die while waiting for treatment.

You heard wrong!  There is some rationing but it is based on need, not age.  There is NO DISCRIMINATION when it comes to health care.
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Qoais
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« Reply #122 on: August 06, 2009, 09:52:36 am »

You must have trouble sleeping at night Volitzer, being so paranoid.
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An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

Logic rules.

"Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong."
Harconen
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« Reply #123 on: August 06, 2009, 09:21:41 pm »

I got this email from a friend of mine, a friend who is former airforce, not a truther or someone who is related to that movement, he's actually a Glenn Beck lover, but he sent me this and I got to say, I'm glad he has the balls to do this lol:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Friends, Family, Glenn, and government,

First read this or my rant may not make sense... http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2308686/posts

As in the book 1984... Freedom is having the freedom to say 2+2=4.
Well you know what, NOW I WILL SHOUT FROM THE ROOF TOPS AND MAKE A FEDERAL CASE OF IT!!!  TURN ME IN! GO FOR IT, I also forwarded this to flag@whitehouse.gov. I turn myself in!  I am willing to be the front runner on this I will not put up with any attempt to silence an apposing view point from ANY point of view. We Still have freedom of speech and freedom of thought; and you know what? I appose this Heath care plan and will do my best to PEACEFULLY  stop it by using my GOD given (not government given) rights!   

Also this Bull that they are pushing about how you can keep you current health care coverage if you like it... Well, I Like mine but my employer has already told me that if this crap passes then he will drop our coverage and move us to the public option.  Why I asked? Its simple, Why the heck would ANY business pay for both the taxes on public option and pay for private coverage? This is just a fast track to a single payer system and the government thinks we are too stupid to figure this out! You cant keep it if your employer takes your private option away!

I encourage everyone who has an opinion on this topic to speak out, BOTH SIDES need to NON VIOLENTLY hash this out.  Lets actually have the debate, and not just dismiss facts as "disinformation" and "look to the world" as the Libs like to shout... and see that this has NEVER worked anywhere it has been tried in the past and the ones that are currently on it hate it!  when was the last time you spoke to a Canadian or a Brit about there health care? if you have the time and are not board out of your mind with my rant by now I encourage you to watch this video also.  to some, this is just preaching to the choir, to others this my be new information that can be used to make a more informed decision on the topic.

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/scrowder/2009/07/13/must-see-undercover-expose-of-socialized-healthcare/

Thank you for your time,
(name removed)
(town removed), TX
(number removed)
I WILL NOT FEAR my government!  because when that happens... We will have tyranny.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As you can see he is a Beck follower lol, but I love him anyways despite his sin lol.
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Michael Terranova
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« Reply #124 on: August 06, 2009, 10:35:01 pm »

Quote
Also this Bull that they are pushing about how you can keep you current health care coverage if you like it... Well, I Like mine but my employer has already told me that if this crap passes then he will drop our coverage and move us to the public option.  Why I asked? Its simple, Why the heck would ANY business pay for both the taxes on public option and pay for private coverage? This is just a fast track to a single payer system and the government thinks we are too stupid to figure this out!

I hope that is the case.  Single Payer is cheaper for everybody in the long run, all the other industrialized countries already have it, and we are just getting royally RIPPED OFF by not having it here. 

For private insurance, the monthly premium is as much as a person's mortgage and then they don't even cover everything.  In fact, they DON'T cover if you have a pre-existing condition and, as soon as you get sick, they drop you.

What a bunch of grimy, thieving mother fuckers.  I hope that the public option happens, that it leads to single payer and that it puts all those greedy SOBs out of business.  If ever an industry deserved to go broke, it is the health insurance industry.

The people shilling for the health insurance industry, like the guy above ^ are most likely doing it because they are getting paid to do so, or are too stupid to realize they are being used, like all those white racists now trying to disrupt the town meetings.  Screw them.
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Harconen
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« Reply #125 on: August 06, 2009, 11:26:42 pm »

What real Americans think of Obamacare.


AARP Town Hall Meeting on Health Care - Dallas, August 4, 2009

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Harconen
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« Reply #126 on: August 06, 2009, 11:33:46 pm »

Protesters drown out Tampa health care summit
http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/article1025529.ece
By Adam Smith, Times political editor
Posted: Aug 06, 2009 08:03 PM


TAMPA Bitter divisions over reforming America's health care system exploded Thursday night in Tampa amid cat calls, jeering and shoving at a town hall meeting.

"Tyranny! Tyranny! Tyranny!" dozens of people shouted as U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor struggled to talk about health insurance reforms under consideration in Washington, D.C.


"There is more consensus than there is disagreement when you get right down to it,'' Castor offered, immediately drowned out by groans and boos.

She pressed on, mostly unheard among the screams from the audience of more than 200.

"Tell the truth! Tell the truth!"

"Read the bill!"

"Forty-million illegals! Forty million illegals!"

The spectacle at the Children's Board in Ybor City sounded more like a wrestling cage match than a panel discussion on national policy, and it was just the latest example of a health care meeting disrupted by livid protesters. Similar scenes are likely to be repeated across the country as lawmakers head back to their home districts for the summer recess.

Thursday's forum/near riot was sponsored by state Rep. Betty Reed, D-Tampa, and the Service Employees International Union, who apparently had hoped to hold something of a pep rally for President Obama's health care reform proposal.

Instead, hundreds of vocal critics turned out, many of them saying they had been spurred on through the Tampa 912 activist group promoted by conservative radio and television personality Glenn Beck. Others had received e-mails from the Hillsborough Republican party that urged people to speak out against the plan and offered talking points to challenge supporters.

An overflow crowd of critics was left waiting outside the building and in some cases pounding on the meeting room doors while health care reform activists complained that Democrats and union members were guided into the room for prime seats.

"They can't even run a meeting, and they want to run health care?,'' scoffed Kevin Grant, a Tampa printing business owner, standing near someone wielding a "Shame on you America. You sold your soul to the Devil" sign.

The nationally televised images of protesters lashing out at politicians sympathetic to President Obama's health care proposal certainly drive home the keen opposition to the health care plan. Some Democrats, though, argue that engaged, disruptive protesters only serve depict the GOP as unwilling to work on solutions.

"These groups are not concerned about Americans' access to quality heath care, but are extreme ideologues, only interested in 'breaking' the president and thwarting the change Americans voted for last November," said state Democratic chairwoman Karen Thurman.

Polls show mounting public concern about the nation's debt and deficit, and a CNN poll released this week found 50 percent of those surveyed supportive of the president's plan and 45 percent opposed.

U.S. Rep. Castor said a strong debate is healthy but suggested that many of the protesters who have shown up at town hall meetings in recent weeks would have staunchly opposed the creation of Medicare and Social Security a few decades ago.

"The insurance industry and Republican activists are manufacturing a lot of these phony protests,'' said Castor, who has been closely involved in the health care debate and said she won't support any bill lacking a government-run insurance option.

She left before the forum ending, which drew more boos. State Rep. Reed said she encouraged Castor to leave because nobody could hear her any way.

Protesters said there was nothing phony about their strong showing, just a bubbling of grass roots anger.

"It's the backlash to the arrogance of our government that you're seeing here,'' said Brad Grabill of Temple Terrace.

Adam C. Smith can be reached at asmith@sptimes.com.

[Nice name!]


Youtube vid
Kathy Castor Town Hall Erupts in Tampa Florida, August 6th, 2009


Your supposed to work for us....  Wink 
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Krista Davenport
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« Reply #127 on: August 07, 2009, 10:28:08 pm »

Big Corporate Money Funding Anti-Healthcare Protests

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Volitzer
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« Reply #128 on: August 07, 2009, 11:00:20 pm »

Quote
The government needs to do something to regulate healthcare but  NOT  run healthcare.

Wrong.  The only way that prices are controlled is for government to be involved in setting them, NOT the insurance industries.

Okay let the government regulate the insurance industry too and not run it.

Quote
However I've heard that in a single payer system the young get prioritized in healthcare and the older are put on a waiting list and die while waiting for treatment.

You heard wrong!  There is some rationing but it is based on need, not age.  There is NO DISCRIMINATION when it comes to health care.

I hear all the time where older people are left to die in the halls of Canadian Hospitals while the doctors treat a younger less riskier patient.   Don't believe me talk to some Canadians.
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Krista Davenport
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« Reply #129 on: August 08, 2009, 05:05:55 pm »

Yeah, I have talked to some Canadians, and guess what?  Not one would change their system for here.
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Harconen
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« Reply #130 on: August 08, 2009, 05:54:13 pm »

Canada's Health isn't what it used to be in the 60's and 70's

http://health.dailynewscentral.com/content/view/0001031/39/

Canada's Health System to Undergo Sweeping Changes

 11 June, 2005  17:11 GMT

'The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care,' the Supreme Court ruled. The Canadian Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a Quebec law banning private medical insurance in a decision that represents an acute blow to the publicly financed national health care system.

The high court stopped short of striking down the constitutionality of the country's vaunted health care system nationwide, but experts across the legal spectrum said they expected the decision to lead to sweeping changes in the Canadian health care system.

"The language of the ruling will encourage more and more lawsuits and those suits have a greater likelihood of success in light of this judgment," said Lorne Sossin, acting dean of the University of Toronto law school.

An Element of Timely Care

Patrick Monahan, dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto and a well-known critic of the national health care system, was even more emphatic about the importance of the decision.

"They are going to have to change the fundamental design of the system," he said. "They will have to build in an element of timely care or otherwise allow the development of a private medical system."

The Canadian health care system provides free doctor's services that are paid for by taxes. The system has generally been strongly supported by the public, and is broadly identified with the Canadian national character. Canada is the only industrialized county that outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services.

But in recent years patients have been forced to wait longer periods for diagnostic tests and elective surgery while the wealthy and well connected either sought care in the United States or used influence to jump medical lines.

The court ruled that the waiting lists had become so long that they violated patients' "life and personal security, inviolability and freedom" under the Quebec charter of human rights and freedoms, which covers about one-quarter of Canada's population.

Delays Can Be Deadly

"The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care," the Supreme Court ruled. "In sum, the prohibition on obtaining private health insurance is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services."

The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Jacques Chaoulli, a Montreal family doctor who argued his own case through the courts, and George Zeliotis, a chemical salesman who was forced to wait a year for a hip replacement while he was prohibited from paying privately for surgery.

Chaoulli and Zeliotis lost in two Quebec provincial courts before the Supreme Court decided to take their appeal.

There was no immediate impact on the national system outside Quebec, since the justices split by a vote of 3-3 on the question of whether the Quebec ban on private medical insurance violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canada's bill of rights, as the two plaintiffs contended.


Yet an another view:

Americans Who've Used Canada's Health-Care System Respond to Current Big-Lie Media Campaign
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-mann/americans-whove-used-cana_b_215256.html

 The scare ads and op-ed pieces featuring Canadians telling us American how terrible their government health-care systems have arrived - predictably.

There's another, factual view - by those of us Americans who've lived in Canada and used their system.

My wife and I did for years, and we've been incensed by the lies we've heard back here in the U.S. about Canada's supposedly broken system.

It's not broken - and what's more, Canadians like and fiercely defend it.

Example: Our son was born at Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital. My wife got excellent care. The total bill for three days in a semi-private room? $21.

My friend Art Finley is a West Virginia native who lives in Vancouver.

    "I'm 82, and in excellent health," he told me this week. "It costs me all of $57 a month for health care, and it's excellent. I'm so tired of all the lies and bulls**t I hear about the system up here in the U.S. media."

Finley, a well-known TV and radio host for years in San Francisco, adds,

    "I now have 20/20 vision thanks to Canadian eye doctors. And I haven't had to wait for my surgeries, either."

A Canadian-born doctor wrote a hit piece for Wingnut Central (the Wall Street Journal op-ed page) this week David Gratzer claimed:

    "Everyone in Canada is covered by a single payer -- the government. But Canadians wait for practically any procedure or diagnostic test or specialist consultation in the public system."

Vancouverite Finley: "That's sheer b.s."


I heard Gratzer say the same thing on Seattle radio station KIRO this week. Trouble is, it's nonsense.

We were always seen promptly by our doctors in Montreal, many of whom spoke both French and English.

Today, we live within sight of the Canadian border in Washington state, and still spend lots of time in Canada.

Five years ago, while we were on vacation in lovely Nova Scotia, the Canadian government released a long-awaited major report from a federal commission studying the Canadian single-payer system. We were listening to CBC Radio the day the big study came out.

The study's conclusion: While the system had flaws, none was so serious it couldn't be fixed.

Then the CBC opened the lines to callers across Canada.

Here it comes, I thought. The usual talk-show torrent of complaints and anger about the report's findings.

I wish Americans could have heard this revealing show.

For the next two hours, scores of Canadians called from across that vast country, from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

Not one said he or she would change the system. Every single one defended it vigorously.

The Greatest Canadian Ever

Further proof:

Not long ago, the CBC asked Canadians to nominate and then vote for The Greatest Canadian in history. Thousands responded.

The winner? Not Wayne Gretzky, as I expected (although the hockey great DID make the Top 10). Not even Alexander Graham Bell, another finalist.

The greatest Canadian ever?

Tommy Douglas.

Who? Tommy Douglas was a Canadian politician - and the father of Canadian universal health care.


http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/medicine/article1019355.ece

Oh, Canada, where health care for all 33 million is free

By Susan Taylor Martin, Times Senior Correspondent
In Print: Sunday, July 19, 2009

 WINDSOR, Ontario

Ask Emily Whitehead, a Canadian, what she thinks about her country's health care system and she'll tell you a little story.

Years ago, she and a friend had babies at the same time. Afterward, they compared notes.

The friend, who lives in Michigan, was in the hospital for two or three days. Her bill: more than $3,000.

Whitehead, a diabetic, was in the hospital for two months. So was her premature infant, who at one point had to be transported in a specially equipped ambulance with two nurses and two paramedics.

Total bill for the Whiteheads: $16.95, for TV and a long-distance call.

Today, Whitehead is battling cancer, but once again the bill is the least of her worries. The Ontario government is paying for all of her hospital stays and doctor visits.

"When you consider the cost between the U.S. and Canada, there is no comparison,'' says her husband, Dennis. "People who go to the hospital here don't face financial ruin.''

Straddling the world's longest peaceful border, the two countries have much in common by virtue of language, culture and closely entwined economies. But there is a major difference — their approach to health care.

Canadians pay higher sales taxes — 13 percent in Ontario compared with 7 percent in Tampa — but all 33 million are entitled to hospital and physician services at government expense. No Canadian ever goes bankrupt because of medical bills.

Across the border, where Americans are declaring bankruptcy in near-record numbers, 62 percent of filings are at least partly because of health care costs. Some 46 million have no insurance. Millions more are underinsured.

And while the United States spends more per person on health care than any other country, Americans aren't even the world's healthiest. Canadians, Britons and residents of 27 other nations all live longer.

President Barack Obama wants Congress to pass a major health care reform bill before its August recess, saying, "We can't afford to wait."

The most contentious idea is a government-funded insurance option for those who might otherwise lack coverage. Critics howl, calling it socialized medicine that could drive private insurance companies out of business.

The controversy has focused attention, not all of it favorable, on Canada.

"Government-run health care systems like the one in Canada not only deny, but also delay care for weeks, months and even years,'' U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, recently charged.

Canadians freely admit that their system is not perfect, citing shortages of doctors in many places, often long waits for elective procedures like cataract surgery, too few nursing homes so the elderly often stay in hospitals far longer than they should, tying up beds.

But Canadians say that everyone who needs care gets it. And they say their single-payer system — doctors bill one payer, the government — is inherently more efficient than the U.S. system, in which payment might come from Medicare, Medicaid or countless private insurance plans, none of which cover exactly the same services or pay exactly the same amounts.

Dr. Diane Normandin learned that the hard way.

A graduate of Montreal's McGill University, Normandin moved to Clearwater in 1994 because she thought U.S. doctors had more freedom. But she spent an inordinate amount of time trying to tell whether a patient's insurance covered visits to a particular lab or specialist.

"You had maybe five minutes with the patient but 20 minutes of paperwork and the ridiculous sorting out of where the patient could go,'' says Normandin, who needed six employees to handle the workload. "It was crazy.''

In 2003 she went back to Canada and opened a family practice near Montreal. Now she has one employee.

• • •

The 1984 Canada Health Care Act (PDF) guarantees basic services for all citizens. But there are actually 10 separate health care systems run by the 10 provinces.

The largest is the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, or O-HIP, as everyone calls it. All Ontarians carry a green and white identification card, about the size of a driver's license, that they present at the doctor's office or hospital.

The patient never sees a bill. The doctor gets paid by the Ontario Ministry of Health according to fees negotiated between the ministry and the provincial medical association.

Fanning out a little sheaf of white slips, Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull says, "This is the total paperwork for 40 patients.''

President-elect of the Canadian Medical Association, Turnbull is chief of staff at the main hospital in Ottawa, Canada's capital. On a recent morning, he met with several residents, a nurse and a pharmacist to review the charts of patients admitted overnight.

Among them was Mrs. K, a chronic alcoholic. And Mr. R, with colon cancer. And Mrs. L, with a spinal injury.

Turnbull's team discussed each patient, ordering costly tests for several. Insurance was never mentioned.

"There was not one word today about could they afford anything,'' Turnbull says. "You would have heard that in the U.S.: 'We need to do a CAT scan. Oh, do they have insurance?' There were rich and poor on that list. The great asset we have in the health care system is its equitability.''

• • •

The No. 1 myth about the Canadian system is that egalitarian is the same as socialist.

In a true socialized system like Britain's, doctors work for the government. Most Canadian doctors work for themselves or in groups.

Nor has universal coverage driven private insurers out of business. Through their jobs or at their own expense, two-thirds of Canadians have insurance for dental work, eye care, prescription drugs and private hospital rooms — none of which are generally covered by the government plans.

A second pervasive myth: Canadians can't choose their own doctors.

The truth is they have a choice of doctors, though it is more limited than in the United States. Windsor, part of a metro area of 400,000, has five cardiologists; St. Petersburg (population 245,000) has more than 40.

A major reason for the shortage is that in the 1990s the government restricted medical school admissions, concerned that Canada would have too many doctors. "It underestimated population growth and aging,'' says Dr. Amr Morsi, a Windsor cardiologist.

The last myth? Canadian doctors are controlled by the government.

"I can do whatever test I want. I just happen to bill one payer, and that's the government,'' says Turnbull, the Ottawa physician.

He and others acknowledge that the government imposes de facto controls by not approving payment for tests considered experimental or of dubious value. Because Ontario is one of the few provinces that still doesn't pay for PET scans, used to diagnose cancer, doctors hesitate to order a scan that can cost a patient $2,400 out of pocket.

• • •

One irrefutable truth about the Canadian system is that people often have to wait weeks, even months, for non-emergency care.

Early last year, Don Praill of Amherstburg, Ontario, was told it would be nine months before he could have surgery for a painful back condition. His wife, Betty, went online and found a spinal institute in Tampa that could operate almost immediately.

But the cost, $40,000, was prohibitive. Praill finally had the surgery in Canada in January.

"A lot of people here have gone to Detroit because things are so much faster,'' Betty Praill says, "but in Canada everything is free.''

One reason for the long delays is a shortage of diagnostic equipment like MRIs and CAT scans. Canada has six MRI machines for every 1 million people; the United States has 26.

And "some surgeons are just known to be great and everyone migrates toward them so the wait times are longer,'' says Mark Fathers, controller of Windsor Regional Hospital. "It's not that the others are incompetent.''

In recent years, the provinces have made a major push to reduce waiting times, establishing benchmarks for treatment. In Ontario, at least 75 percent of cancer patients now start radiation within the prescribed four weeks. They get cataract surgery within four months and coronary bypass surgery, hip replacements and knee replacements within six months.

That is still far longer than Americans have to wait — assuming they have good insurance.

"Access to health care in the U.S. was fantastic. I was very impressed with the speed of care,'' says Raj Kumar Goel, a urologist who trained at the Cleveland Clinic before recently returning to Windsor. "But one of the challenges that was hard to swallow was seeing patients who had lost their jobs or had a change in insurance carriers not able to undergo surgery they had been booked for. In Canada that wouldn't happen.''

• • •

While critics of the U.S. health care system look to Canada for guidance, Canadians say they have learned a lot from Americans.

On visits to the States, David Musyj, president of Windsor Regional Hospital, picks up ideas that have transformed his once bland facility into a more welcoming place. There are umbrella bags for rainy days. Brahms' Lullaby is played for every newborn. On release, patients get Musyj's personal phone numbers to register complaints or praise.

"What has changed over the last 20 years is a clear focus on the patient and customer service,'' he says. "Previously, because the hospitals are free, the attitude was: 'If you don't like it, sit down and be quiet.' ''

Canadian hospitals are nonprofits that get most of their budget from the government but must raise the rest themselves. Windsor Regional and the city's other hospital, Hotel Dieu-Grace, have been able to spruce up rooms by charging local businesses $50,000 in exchange for naming rights. Patients might be in a room with "Devonshire Mall'' or "CKLW Radio'' over the door.

Canadians have also become more demanding because of reporting requirements that enable them to compare hospitals by infection rates, length of stay and other factors. Hospitals are almost obsessive about reducing emergency room waiting times that in major cities like Toronto have run as much as 36 hours.

"Every Monday morning we huddle and look at what we can to do knock off even five minutes,'' says Theresa Morris, director of Windsor Regional's ER, where average waits are within the target eight hours. But she notes that her hospital — like many others — is often at 100 percent capacity.

"When there's nowhere to put them upstairs,'' Morris says, "it gridlocks.''

• • •

The long waits have sparked a robust debate over whether Canada should move more closely to a U.S.-style system in which those who have money or good insurance can get faster access to health care.

In 2005, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down a Quebec law that banned private insurance for government-covered procedures, noting that some patients had died while waiting for public care. "Access to a waiting list is not access to health care,'' the court said.

Canada already has a number of private clinics that charge patients. The most controversial is one in Vancouver started by orthopedic surgeon Brian Day, former president of the Canadian Medical Association.

"In a free and democratic society . . . the state has no business preventing you and me from spending our own money on health care,'' Day told the New York Times in 2006, adding that a dog in Canada could get a hip replaced faster than a human could.

But critics say the growth of facilities like Day's would draw doctors, nurses and other resources away from Canada's public system, resulting in a two-tier system in which only the rich got top-notch care.

"My feeling is that we can fix the public system because I think that has the greatest potential,'' says Turnbull, the medical association's president-elect. He and others say waits could be reduced by greater use of electronic medical records, more emphasis on preventive care and more alternatives to hospitalization for the old and chronically ill.

"What's right about our system is that we have a single-payer system that's dramatically reduced costs and provided universal coverage,'' says Dr. Michael Rachlis, one of Canada's top experts on health care policy. "Americans have ideological blinders about 4,000 miles tall and cannot see that something with the word 'government' in it could be more efficient than something without government in it.''

Emily and Dennis Whitehead tend to agree. While she undergoes cancer treatment with no worries about the cost, an uninsured friend in Alabama is recovering from major heart surgery.

"I asked my friend how he's going to pay his $110,000 hospital bill and he has no idea,'' Dennis Whitehead says. "They'll probably turn it over to a collection agency and harass him for the rest of his life.''

Susan Taylor Martin can be contacted at susan@sptimes.com.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/medicine/article1019355.ece
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Krista Davenport
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« Reply #131 on: August 08, 2009, 07:21:39 pm »

From your post:

Bill Mann
TV-Radio Critic www.dcweasels.com
Posted: June 13, 2009 05:48 PM
Americans Who've Used Canada's Health-Care System Respond to Current Big-Lie Media Campaign


The scare ads and op-ed pieces featuring Canadians telling us American how terrible their government health-care systems have arrived - predictably.

There's another, factual view - by those of us Americans who've lived in Canada and used their system.

My wife and I did for years, and we've been incensed by the lies we've heard back here in the U.S. about Canada's supposedly broken system.

It's not broken - and what's more, Canadians like and fiercely defend it.

Example: Our son was born at Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital. My wife got excellent care. The total bill for three days in a semi-private room? $21.

My friend Art Finley is a West Virginia native who lives in Vancouver.

"I'm 82, and in excellent health," he told me this week. "It costs me all of $57 a month for health care, and it's excellent. I'm so tired of all the lies and bulls**t I hear about the system up here in the U.S. media."
Finley, a well-known TV and radio host for years in San Francisco, adds,

"I now have 20/20 vision thanks to Canadian eye doctors. And I haven't had to wait for my surgeries, either."

A Canadian-born doctor wrote a hit piece for Wingnut Central (the Wall Street Journal op-ed page) this week David Gratzer claimed:

"Everyone in Canada is covered by a single payer -- the government. But Canadians wait for practically any procedure or diagnostic test or specialist consultation in the public system."
Vancouverite Finley: "That's sheer b.s."

I heard Gratzer say the same thing on Seattle radio station KIRO this week. Trouble is, it's nonsense.

We were always seen promptly by our doctors in Montreal, many of whom spoke both French and English.

Today, we live within sight of the Canadian border in Washington state, and still spend lots of time in Canada.

Five years ago, while we were on vacation in lovely Nova Scotia, the Canadian government released a long-awaited major report from a federal commission studying the Canadian single-payer system. We were listening to CBC Radio the day the big study came out.

The study's conclusion: While the system had flaws, none was so serious it couldn't be fixed.

Then the CBC opened the lines to callers across Canada.

Here it comes, I thought. The usual talk-show torrent of complaints and anger about the report's findings.

I wish Americans could have heard this revealing show.

For the next two hours, scores of Canadians called from across that vast country, from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

Not one said he or she would change the system. Every single one defended it vigorously.

The Greatest Canadian Ever

Further proof:

Not long ago, the CBC asked Canadians to nominate and then vote for The Greatest Canadian in history. Thousands responded.

The winner? Not Wayne Gretzky, as I expected (although the hockey great DID make the Top 10). Not even Alexander Graham Bell, another finalist.

The greatest Canadian ever?

Tommy Douglas.

Who? Tommy Douglas was a Canadian politician - and the father of Canadian universal health care.

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« Reply #132 on: August 08, 2009, 07:43:13 pm »

Yes but a main thing is this.

'The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care,' the Supreme Court ruled.

The high court stopped short of striking down the constitutionality of the country's vaunted health care system nationwide, but experts across the legal spectrum said they expected the decision to lead to sweeping changes in the Canadian health care system.

"They are going to have to change the fundamental design of the system," he said. "They will have to build in an element of timely care or otherwise allow the development of a private medical system."

But in recent years patients have been forced to wait longer periods for diagnostic tests and elective surgery while the wealthy and well connected either sought care in the United States or used influence to jump medical lines.

The court ruled that the waiting lists had become so long that they violated patients' "life and personal security, inviolability and freedom" under the Quebec charter of human rights and freedoms, which covers about one-quarter of Canada's population.


"The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care,"

"Government-run health care systems like the one in Canada not only deny, but also delay care for weeks, months and even years,'' U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, recently charged.

The long waits have sparked a robust debate over whether Canada should move more closely to a U.S.-style system in which those who have money or good insurance can get faster access to health care.

One irrefutable truth about the Canadian system is that people often have to wait weeks, even months, for non-emergency care.


                                                               http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2jijuj1ysw

                                                     
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Krista Davenport
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« Reply #133 on: August 08, 2009, 07:59:37 pm »

Brad Miller Death Threat: Capitol Police Looking Into Phone Call Made To Congressman Over Health Care Reform


DINA CAPPIELLO | 08/ 7/09 11:19 PM | AP


WASHINGTON — A North Carolina congressman who supports an overhaul of the health care system had his life threatened by a caller upset that he was not holding a public forum on the proposal, his office said Friday.

Democratic Rep. Brad Miller received the call Monday, one of hundreds the congressman's office has fielded demanding town-hall meetings on the health care proposal, said his spokeswoman, LuAnn Canipe. She said the callers were "trying to instigate town halls so they can show up and disrupt."

"We had one of those kind of calls that escalated to what we considered a threat" on the congressman's life, said Canipe. "These are some strong-arm tactics, and we are trying to deal with and trying to talk to people in good faith about health care reform."

Democratic lawmakers expected protests and demonstrations as they headed back to their states and districts over the August recess to sell health care reform legislation. Earlier this week, White House officials counseled Democratic senators on coping with disruptions at public events this summer.

In the week since the House began its break, several town-hall meetings have already been disrupted by noisy demonstrators.

The latest occurrence was at back-to-back town hall meetings held by Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., which got so raucous police had to escort people out.

Dingell vowed Friday to push ahead with Democratic-led efforts to extend coverage to all, saying he won't be intimidated by protesters.

"I am eager to talk about the bill with anyone who wants to discuss it. That doesn't open the door to everyone who wants to demagogue the discussion," Dingell said in a statement.

The boos, jeers and shouts of "Shame on you!" at the events in a gym in Romulus, Mich., mirror what other Democrats are encountering around the country. Activists have shown up at town-hall meetings held recently by Arlen Specter, D-Pa. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was greeted by about 200 protesters at an event in Denver, about half supporting Democrats and half opposed.

In Saratoga Springs, N.Y., about 20 protesters showed up at an event held by Democratic Rep. Scott Murphy to let him know they oppose the health care plans in Washington. They carried signs saying: "Obamacare Seniors beware! Rationing is here," and "If socialized medicine is best ... why didn't Ted Kennedy go to Canada?"

The episodes have drawn widespread media attention, and Republicans have seized on them as well as polls showing a decline in support for President Barack Obama and his agenda as evidence that public support is lacking for his signature legislation.

Pushing back, Democrats have accused Republicans of sanctioning mob tactics, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused protesters earlier this week of trying to sabotage the democratic process.

Miller never had plans to hold a town-hall meeting during the August recess, Canipe said. Instead, he was sitting down with smaller groups of people to discuss the plan. During one of those smaller gatherings on Friday, hundreds of people from a group called Triangle Conservatives peacefully protested at Miller's Raleigh office.

The threatening caller, when told by a staffer that Miller was not planning a meeting, claimed the congressman didn't want to meet with people face to face because he knew it would cost him his life, according to Canipe. The staffer then asked if the caller was making a threat. The caller, said Canipe, replied that there are a lot of angry people out there.

The U.S. Capitol Police confirmed Friday they were looking into a threat against a congressman, but wouldn't provide further details.

___

Associated Press Writer Erica Werner contributed to this report.
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« Reply #134 on: August 08, 2009, 08:45:36 pm »

                             Dear Mr. President, I’d Like to Report a Fishy Drug Deal

                                                   



By Linda Anselmi on August 7, 2009 at 10:00 PM in Health Care, Linda Anselmi

Dear Mr. President:

I read a post on the Whitehouse blog called “Facts Are Stubborn Things” http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/ that said:

Scary chain emails and videos are starting to percolate on the internet, breathlessly claiming, for example, to “uncover” the truth about the President’s health insurance reform positions.

And that:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there… These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

I understand your concern about misinformation distorting the healthcare debate. Healthcare is too important to let special interests use fears and smears to sway citizenry. And I agree that only through truth and transparency can we reach decisions that are in the best interest of the American people.

Remember back in June, when you proclaimed a “major step forward” in the comprehensive reform of health care by announcing that the pharmaceutical industry had agreed to cut the cost of prescription drugs for seniors through Medicare?

From CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/06/22/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5103607.shtml

In the deal, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has agreed to reduce its draw of revenues by $80 billion over 10 years by discounting the cost of medicines in Medicare’s Part D prescription drug program for some seniors by as much as 50 percent. The discount would go to seniors who fall into the “doughnut hole” — a gap in Medicare Part D coverage. Currently, once seniors have received $2,700 worth of drugs, they are left to pay the full cost of their medication until that cost reaches $6,100.

“This gap in coverage has been placing a crushing burden on many older Americans,” Mr. Obama said. The agreement, he said, will make health care “more affordable for millions of seniors and restore a measure of fairness to Medicare Part D.”

The agreement with PhRMA was negotiated with the White House and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who is leading health care reform as chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Baucus stood by the president on Monday as he praised the agreement, as did Sen. Chris Dodd, who is leading health care deliberations in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and Barry Rand, head of the senior citizens’ advocacy group, AARP.

The president pointed out that the pharmaceutical industry stands to benefit from the millions of more customers it could receive as a result of reform. Therefore, he said, “it’s only fair” that pharmaceutical companies do their part to reduce costs.

Since drugs represent about 10 percent of the U.S. healthcare budget and you yourself have warned many times that the U.S. health care system was a huge drain on the Treasury and threatens economic growth, I was a bit disappointed to learn that this PhRMA deal did not provide for the federal government to use its weight to negotiate down drug prices or facilitate the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada.

Don’t get me wrong, it gladdened my heart to learn Medicare “doughnut hole” seniors would be helped by your efforts. But I, and many other Americans, had really hoped to hear you come out with a deal that would help all Americans. After all, it is not just the seniors being hurt by the extraordinarily high drug prices in the U.S. And both importation and negotiation were a part of your healthcare campaign promise (h/t janicen):

Obama will allow Americans to buy their medicines from other developed countries if the drugs are safe and prices are lower outside the U.S.

Obama will repeal the ban on direct negotiation with drug companies and use the resulting savings, which could be as high as $30 billion [a year], to further invest in improving health care coverage and quality.

Which made it even more disappointing to learn that: http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE55K18P20090622?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0

Analysts said while the deal would crimp profits for the companies, the $80 billion in discounts they were offering was less than initially feared. The government had opened negotiations asking for $130 billion.

So okay, as a first step in the overall march to healthcare reform in general and on prescription drugs in particular this big PhRMA deal included a few too many stubbed toes and skinned knees to be a boot-stomping, butt-kicking success. But since the real process of overhauling and reforming healthcare was yet to come, I still had hope.

Then, just the other day, I read in the New York Times that White House Affirms Deal on Drug Cost http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/health/policy/06insure.html?_r=2&th&emc=th

Pressed by industry lobbyists, White House officials on Wednesday assured drug makers that the administration stood by a behind-the-scenes deal to block any Congressional effort to extract cost savings from them beyond an agreed-upon $80 billion.

…the White House explicitly acknowledge for the first time that it had committed to protect drug makers from bearing further costs in the overhaul. The Obama administration had never spelled out the details of the agreement.…

A deputy White House chief of staff, Jim Messina, confirmed Mr. Tauzin’s account of the deal in an e-mail message on Wednesday night.…

Mr. Tauzin said the White House had tracked the negotiations throughout, assenting to decisions to move away from ideas like the government negotiation of prices or the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada. The $80 billion in savings would be over a 10-year period. “80 billion is the max, no more or less,” he said. “Adding other stuff changes the deal.”

After reaching an agreement with Mr. Baucus, Mr. Tauzin said, he met twice at the White House with Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff; Mr. Messina, his deputy; and Nancy-Ann DeParle, the aide overseeing the health care overhaul, to confirm the administration’s support for the terms.

“They blessed the deal,” Mr. Tauzin said.

Immediately upon reading this, I thought, it can’t be true. The President wouldn’t make a deal for just the seniors and only for a miserly $80 billion over 10 years, and leave the rest of us Americans to pick up the bill of wildly escalating drug costs. So I madly searched the Internet to prove this was false, but every source was saying the same thing. You approved the deal.

Then it dawned on me. This big PhRMA drug deal is fishy. Really fishy. The fishy confirmation email from deputy White House chief of staff, Jim Messina. That fishy PhRMA guy, Mr. Tauzin switches sides from drug industry overseer to lobbyist http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/drugs/2004-12-15-drugs-usat_x.htm (h/t bayareavoter). The fishy contributions of nearly $1 million from healthcare and PhRMA (h/t elise) to Senator Baucus’ campaign committee http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00004643&cycle=2010 . And fishy is exactly what the Whitehouse blog warned about.

So I’m following your instructions Mr. President. I’m reporting this fishy drug deal to flag@whitehouse.gov. I know you’ll get to the bottom of this and clear up all the rumors and misinformation so the American people can understand simply and clearly what truly is in (and not in) your drug deal with PhRMA.

Thank you Mr. President.

Sincerely,

A Fellow Concerned Citizen for Truth and Transparency
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