Okay, I guess it’s time I waded into the healthcare debate. This one has been on my mind for awhile, and with congress hotly debating your healthcare future, I felt compelled to share my own experience.
I am a bit shocked by the amount of fear being expressed in regards to trying something new. Regardless of what is decided I wish people could let go of the “I can take care of myself mentality”, or the “I don;t need big government telling me how to live!” That song is easy to play until something unexpected happens and you find yourself having to choose between food and medicine, shelter and medicine, or worse, with no choice at all!
My family and I moved to Canada 8 years ago from San Francisco. I had never had health insurance in the States until my son was born, I was 37 at the time and had been lucky. We paid $600.00 a month for the privilege of being covered. This lovely policy came along with a variety of strings; co-paymentsof 30 to 50%, $2000 deductible. Basically it was a get hit by a truck policy — life insurance for my kid. That same policy would cost us about $1000 bucks today. My brother in-law is currently paying $600 a month and has a $5000 deductible along with an equally long list of do’s and don’ts. Now I have never been a big consumer of western medicine, but shit happens, and sometimes you really appreciate having it around — even more so when you know it is not going to bankrupt you.
When we moved to British Columbia we were required to buy into the provincial health care program for a whopping $100 a month — thats for my whole family! When we have a health concern we simply walk into our GP, or any clinic for that matter, if they can’t figure it out your referred to a specialist or the hospital. We give them our healthcare-card and never see a piece of paper, much less a bill. Last year my son lost a finger in a sailing accident, the year before my daughter received elective surgery to improve her hearing. In each case the only paper we got was a questionnaire asking us how our experience was at the hospital. All for $100 bucks a month. That’s with no co-pay, no deductibles. If you can’t afford the 100 bucks you get it for free. I did have to pay $75 for my son’s ambulance ride to the hospital, about the cost of a taxi, but I was happy to pay it given the care and support he had received. If you don’t feel like waiting for that elective surgery you can buy it sooner. It’s like a giant sliding scale with everyone receiving basic health care. And for most of us that’s all we need, basic health care.
So I guess I just wanted to say that it doesn’t have to be that complicated. If Canada can do it than so can you! Whatever you may think of the job Obama has done this past year, he is putting himself out there right now to try and change things. Seems like we should all being doing our part too!
Cc: President Obama