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Kind Listening Session

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind responds to questions Monday during a listening session at Western Technical College.

Despite pressure from advocates, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind said he’s not ready to support a single-payer health care bill.

Kind said he likes the idea of publicly-funded health insurance but has logistic and political concerns about how it would work and what it would cost.

“It’s an aspiration I share,” Kind said. “People feel passionate about it. But we’ve got to pay for it.”

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Kind Listening Session 1

Viroqua physician Taryn Lawler voices her support for a single-payer healthcare system Monday during a listening session held by U.S. Rep. Ron Kind at Western Technical College.

Single-payer advocates packed Kind’s first 2018 district listening session, which drew about 60 people — including the Congressman’s mother — to the Western Technical College campus in La Crosse Monday afternoon. The message was clear: sign on to House bill 676, which would establish a “Medicare for All” system.

Kind, a La Crosse Democrat, was elected to an 11th term without Republican opposition in 2016 after defeating a primary challenger who championed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ healthcare plan. He said Sanders’ bill needs work and that Republicans, who control the House and Senate, are still intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act.

“That’s where the fight is today,” he said.

Constituents at Monday’s meeting urged him to use his knowledge and party clout to improve the bill.

Dr. Taryn Lawler, a family practitioner from Vernon County, said the insurance industry is not interested in lowering costs and asked Kind how he could be transparent on the issue when three of the top five donors to his last campaign were insurance companies.

“I’m a fierce independent voice in Washington,” Kind responded.

More than 12 percent of the nearly $2 million Kind received during the 2016 election cycle came from the insurance industry, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Federico Escobar said he slipped on the ice and hit his head during a short period when he was without health care. The concussion landed him in the intensive care unit for two days, where he was more worried about how he would pay the $30,000 bill than about his health.

Escobar said he never had to worry about coverage when living in Spain, Colombia or Sweden and can’t understand why people do in “the most powerful country in the world.”

“This is not a first-world country for a lot of us anymore,” said Evan Dvorsak, an organizer with the Wisconsin Health Justice Campaign.

Asked by one constituent what would convince him to support a single-payer system, Kind said he first wants to address disparities in Medicare reimbursement rates (some doctors and hospitals are paid more for the same services than others), lower health care costs, and convince the majority of Americans that it would be a good idea.

“People with employer health care — it scares them,” Kind said. “That’s the political reality right now.”

Dvorsak said he’s been knocking on doors in Vernon County, where he’s found strong support for government-funded health care.

“Single-payer healthcare is more popular than you are in our county, Mr. Kind,” he said. “We’re going to get Congress back, but only if you inspire us.”

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Reporter

Rhymes with Lubbock. La Crosse Tribune reporter and data geek. Covers energy, transportation and the environment, among other things.

(38) comments

kingman10

"Put into an international perspective, however, Canada's system looks to be relatively well liked. A 2011 Gallup Poll found that 57 percent of Canadians felt "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their access to health care services (in the United States, that number stood at just 25 percent). Canada has ten provinces and each province runs it healthcare system for its population. So some do a little better than others. Not all healthcare is covered under their system. Dental care and drugs are not covered in most provinces, so about 2/3 of the people take out a private supplement insurance to help cover those costs. Polls that are more recent than 2011 have notice an up tick in the satisfaction percentages. Nobody said its perfect, or its free, but no one in that country is going broke due to high medical bills from severe illness or accident. No one is!! They are constantly reviewing their medical system, looking for better ways to lessen waiting time, make it more efficient and cost effective. Their system is patient centered much more than our system, which is run by insurance and drug companies.

Rick Czeczok

Question; How well is what we have now working? How long has it been broke? No wrong answer I'm just curious for input.

Buggs Raplin

To kingman10: your 11:44 am comment today was wonderful; just wonderful; thank you so much. But from a political standpoint, however, it means nothing unless Ron Kind's liberal constituency stands up and says "NO" to his position on single payer and REFUSES to support him in 2018. Can't anyone see? Politicians like Ron Kind are indebted to the health insurance companies that hate single payer, because it would put them out of business. Liberals (and I am not a Liberal), but you are the folks that keep Ron in office-tell him enough is enough on this issue-and you'll support either an Independent candidate or a Democrat in the primary against him on just this one issue, because it's so crucial The ball's in your court, liberals. Are you just going to wimp out, or stand for something? -Chip DeNure aka Buggs Raplin

kingman10

well buggs I don't have a personal vendetta against Mr. Kind. And I am not a one issue voter. It is a crucial issue, but its not the only issue. Its up to all voters, not just liberals, to come out and voice their support for single payer health care. When are the majority of conservatives (like yourself) going to support single payer? If and when that happens, then Kind and all in congress will come around to this issue. Liberals shouldn't be the only voices speaking in support. Rally your fellow conservatives too.

Buggs Raplin

To Top Commentator: You nailed it-all the wasteful dollars spent by competing health care systems in advertising. The La Crosse Tribune and the TV stations, and radio stations would suffer greatly without advertising from Mayo and Gundersen. So I'm a bit surprised by the accuracy of Hubbuch's article on this. We need single payer; we need it desperately. We have a health crisis in this country that's going unmet because of the politicians in Washington, including Ron Knd, who vote in accordance with the health insurance companies that fund their political campaigns-that keeps them getting re-elected. For cry'in out loud, folks, can't you put two and two together on this issue?-Chip DeNure

Wi Fan

If health care is a right and it should be government sponsored/supported, does government then not have the right/responsibility to dictate that we follow healthy lifestyles? Mandated diets, exercise, eliminating tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs?

Buggs Raplin

No.

oldhomey

Amen, Buggs.

TopCommentor1

We basically have government funded Healthcare already, so going to single payer makes sense. Everyone that cannot afford Healthcare right now is given it for free through Badgercare. When I lost my job I was on this, and the benefits were better than when I was insured. Also, think of all the money Gundersen spends on Marketing... Look at the money third party middlemen (Insurance companies) make. This money could be used for..you guessed it.. Healthcare

crank

Dr. Taryn Lawler, a family practitioner from Vernon County, said the insurance industry is not interested in lowering costs and asked Kind how he could be transparent on the issue when three of the top five donors to his last campaign were insurance companies.

“I’m a fierce independent voice in Washington,” Kind responded.

And I own a unicorn farm, Ron. [lol][rolleyes]

oldhomey

That was fair criticism of Kind, crank. Now, can we put you down as supporting universal, single payer healthcare for all Americans in some form or other? Welcome to the club.

Buggs Raplin

Health care is a right, not a privilege, of every human being. That's the underlying basis for my wanting single-payer. Think of the money saved by the state governments and corporations and businesses that pay health insurance for their employees. Think of the crucial importance of doctors making the decisions for their patients, not the health insurance companies. Ron Kind won't go single payer, because he gets a lot money from the health insurance companies. For that reason, he needs to be replaced. He needs to go, and his liberal constituency should do something about it.-Chip DeNure aka Buggs Raplin

lostinparadize

I like most of your stuff Buggs, you got brass cojones. I do have one question though, where in the Bill of Rights or anywhere in our Constitution do you find that healthcare is a right ? I don't believe the SC has ruled that it is indeed a right. You are however entitled to your own opinion. I say Medicaid not Medicare, for all with everyone having a $15 co pay on all services to keep skin in the game and if you want better care buy a supplement just like you do with Medicare if you' re smart. Example, 80% of $100grand still leaves you with $20,000 hanging on you. Most people will go belly up trying to pay off that 20 G. How to get (force) providers to accept Medicare reimbursement is another conumdrum.

Dave from Wisc

Do you people know what the tax rate is for the middle class in socialist-lite countries that have gov't run healthcare? Total of all taxes paid are usually around 50-65% of your gross income.

oz

I doubt that it's an extra $2K/month, which is what American heath "insurance" would cost these people. I think most people would opt for an extra few hundred/month in taxes over a couple of grand in premiums to corporate money-hoarders.

oldhomey

And, Oz, the tens of thousands of hard-working households hit by unfortunate stratospheric healthcare costs because of an unforeseen illness or injury would CERTAINLY prefer a few hundred extra dollar in taxes over going bankrupt and losing their home and more due to medical bills. That should not happen in a society as wealthy as ours is.

kingman10

well Dave, I think you are a little high but lets say it is close to true. Do you know the tax rate and total taxes paid by the middle class in this country. Remember to count all taxes, sales tax, gas, liquor, recreation, property, and gov't fees etc.... My guess is that it is right up there with the rest of those so called socialist-lite countries. Its just that we get a lot less for our tax dollar to pay for a military so huge, the highest military budgets of the next ten countries combined don't even come close to ours. So its a matter of what are the priorities of a nation. Other countries choose caring of their own citizens as a very high priority.

A Veteran

kingman--Tell us where you went in Canada,the people in the rural areas of Canada say their system does not work for them because they can not get in to see a doctor.A lot of the health facilities in rural areas are not much more than aid stations. My brother said it is better in more urban areas but wait times can be long in some of those areas to ,this is not something we want in this country,if you think it is so great move to Canada but be prepared to show that you can take care of yourself and contribute to their country as their immigration system is not like our mess!!

Buggs Raplin

There are wait times for non-emergency situations. Most Canadians are satisfied with their health care system.

lostinparadize

kingman10, how many times have you been to Canada ? They too have all those extra taxes on items such as gas, liquor, (big time "sin" tax on liquor and tobacco), recreational items, and extra gov't fees. So, point being the Canadians pay for their free healthcare thru high income taxes and all these additional "luxury" taxes as well. Much higher taxes to pay for "free" healthcare. Others are stating correctly, that in rural areas of Canada the free healthcare leaves a lot to be desired compared to urban area healthcare. Choices, choices I know , no one is forcing anyone to live in the middle of SK or Alberta. I know these things because I've gone to the middle of nowhere in SK for years waterfowl hunting and have gotten to know numerous locals over the years including a small town pharmacist. I will agree about our military, dial it down and let these other countries protect themselves for the boogeyman. As Canada proves however, it won't make " free " healthcare any cheaper tax wise.

oldhomey

Since you challenge kingman as to how much time he has spent in Canada studying its healthcare and tax system, lost and A Veteran (of no known military branch), it is fair to ask the same of you. Nobody, of course, has to personally spend a lot of time in Canada for purposes of gleaning facts that allow them to form an opinion on their healthcare and taxes. There is all kinds of information readily available on these issues if you look in the right places for reliable data. lost, for your information, taxes in Canada in toto just about perfectly match what we pay in this country:

"The highest federal income tax rate in Canada is 29% (for persons with annual taxable income over $120,887), and the highest provincial income tax rate in British Columbia is 14.7% (for those with annual taxable incomes over over $95,909). The typical upper-income level Canadian taxpayer is not in a 55% tax bracket."

Bare in mine, however, what the Canadians pay in taxes covers their healthcare insurance, and Americans are faced AFTER taxes with paying very high healthcare premiums and out of pocket expenses, IF they are lucky enough to have a job offering healthcare insurance. nd Canada's healthcare outcomes are better than in the U.S. Healthcare of course is not "free" in Canada, but it is far cheaper than in the U.S., and Canada's healthcare outcomes are better than in the U.S.

"Ten percent of Canada’s GDP is spent on health care for 100 percent of the population. The U.S. spends 17 percent of its GDP but 15 percent of its population has no coverage whatsoever and millions of others have inadequate coverage. In essence, the U.S. system is considerably more expensive than Canada’s. Part of the reason for this is uninsured and underinsured people in the U.S. still get sick and eventually seek care. People who cannot afford care wait until advanced stages of an illness to see a doctor and then do so through emergency rooms, which cost considerably more than primary care services.

"What the American taxpayer may not realize is that such care costs about $45 billion per year, and someone has to pay it. This is why insurance premiums increase every year for insured patients while co-pays and deductibles also rise rapidly. "

lostinparadize

To old homey, if you look closer, I said I drew my conclusions from spending time each fall for multiple years talking to the locals in small towns and individual farmers in the bush. I was making the point that it is not just Canadian income taxes that pay for their healthcare, but all the auxiliary taxes in goods and services that help cover their healthcare costs. For instance, through personal experience I can tell you that a case of Coors Molson light beer costs around thirty USD. If you want Bud to Miller, it is even more as they are not considered domestic, can't you say tariff? A tin of Cope costs around ten USD. These costs do not include any provincial taxes that may apply. Food stuffs are not priced as exorbitantly, but trust me these sin taxes as the locals call them go towards there social programs. Think healthcare.

oldhomey

I said this earlier, but this reposting corrects some stupid typos in the first:

Taxes in Canada in toto just about perfectly match what we pay in this country:

"The highest federal income tax rate in Canada is 29% (for persons with annual taxable income over $120,887), and the highest provincial income tax rate in British Columbia is 14.7% (for those with annual taxable incomes over over $95,909). The typical upper-income level Canadian taxpayer is not in a 55% tax bracket."

Bear in mind, however, what the Canadians pay in taxes covers their healthcare insurance, and Americans are faced AFTER taxes with paying very high healthcare premiums and out of pocket expenses, IF they are lucky enough to have a job offering healthcare insurance. nd Canada's healthcare outcomes are better than in the U.S. Healthcare of course is not "free" in Canada, but it is far cheaper than in the U.S., and Canada's healthcare outcomes are better than in the U.S.

"Ten percent of Canada’s GDP is spent on health care for 100 percent of the population. The U.S. spends 17 percent of its GDP but 15 percent of its population has no coverage whatsoever and millions of others have inadequate coverage. In essence, the U.S. system is considerably more expensive than Canada’s. Part of the reason for this is uninsured and underinsured people in the U.S. still get sick and eventually seek care. People who cannot afford care wait until advanced stages of an illness to see a doctor and then do so through emergency rooms, which cost considerably more than primary care services.

"What the American taxpayer may not realize is that such care costs about $45 billion per year, and someone has to pay it. This is why insurance premiums increase every year for insured patients while co-pays and deductibles also rise rapidly. "

Buggs Raplin

This was a well written article. I would encourage another run at Ron Kind on this crucial issue by an Independent candidate. I think the health care crisis is something that would resonate with voters.

canman

If single payer is so wonderful, why do Canadians with 2 nickels in their pocket come to the U.S. for their health care?

Buggs Raplin

Canadians are very happy with single payer. You're just spouting the health insurance companies bullsh*t.

A Veteran

Buggs---I have a brother and sister in law living in Canada my brother has waited almost a year to have knee surgery. They say in some parts of Canada the wait times are even worse than that.It seems the problem is doctors can make more working in another country.

Buggs Raplin

Yes, there's a waiting list for non-emergency procedures, but most Canadians are very happy with single payer.

oldhomey

An interesting example that you bring up, A Veteran (of no known military unit). What if you are one of the tens of millions of Americans who have no insurance whatsoever, or have one of these fake policies that the Trump administration is drumming up on the cheap to offer cut-rate insurance that will, when push comes to medical shove, in reality pay out practically nothing when called upon. If you are one of those tens of millions and you need knee replacement because of immobilizing, excruciating pain, what will you do? Go to the emergency room where you cannot by law be turned away? They will give you a pain killer and send you home to live with your immobilizing, excruciating pain for the rest of your life. It is true that waiting lists for knee replacements in Canada are long. Here is what one Canadian healthcare professional living in the U.S. said about that:

"It is not a perfect system, but it has its merits. For people like my 55-year-old Aunt Betty, who has been waiting for 14 months for knee-replacement surgery due to a long history of arthritis, it is the superior system. Her $35,000-plus surgery is finally scheduled for next month. She has been in pain, and her quality of life has been compromised. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Aunt Betty — who lives on a fixed income and could never afford private health insurance, much less the cost of the surgery and requisite follow-up care — will soon sport a new, high-tech knee. Waiting 14 months for the procedure is easy when the alternative is living in pain for the rest of your life. "

canman

I have spent many years going to Canada for work and the the Canadian citizens that I have met in a dozen different cities have all expressed frustion with their system and all that can afford to come to the U.S. for their health care do so. I am not a fan of U.S. health care but the Canadian system doesn’t work so quit listening to the rhetoric of their system being great.

Buggs Raplin

I spoke to a Canadian family a while ago and asked about their health care system. They were pleased with it. The so called 'unhappy' Canadians are, for the most part, a myth created by the health insurance companies, who would be put out of business if we go single payer.

kingman10

I have heard this "Canada's system doesn't work and is going broke" for the past thirty or more years. It is pure b.s. but still there are believers. I have taken trips and met many Canadians over the years and I can tell you without blinking an eye the vast majority of them are very satisfied with their health system, and would never want to have our system. Yes of course there are whiners and its not perfect, especially in out lying areas where there are few hospitals and doctors. Fact is' no one is Canada is going through personal financial hardships because of a catastrophic illness or accident! No one! Now those with lots of money might chose to come here where there are new techniques or specialists not readily available in Canada and get their healthcare done sooner. The wealthy always believe they deserve better treatment than the rest. Their drug prices are much lower, and their costs per capita for health care is much lower. Canada is not a third world country and neither is Europe, and all of them have a better system than we have for their entire population. I wish Mr. Kind would take a closer look at this issue. But every time someone runs against him, its a crazy tea bagger type who would never even consider a single payer system.

crank

If this one family is the source of your statement that 'most Canadians are happy with their healthcare' and the reason you say the US should go to single-payer, you can see an obvious problem with the basis for your reasoning. You sound like our friend Toddler who often posts stories about 'a guy he knows' as the basis for his absolute determinations about what is real and what is not. Don't be like him.

I spoke to a Canadian who is living here in La Crosse and asked about their healthcare system. She said it wasn't that great while healthcare here in La Crosse, by comparison, was much better for her than in Canada. By your logic, this can be applied universally as most Canadians being unhappy with their healthcare. Right?

I think if you did a poll in Canada and the US, you'd find that most respondents in each nation would say they are happy with their healthcare. I am certain you can also find people who will tell you terrible stories about their experience in each country. Here, you seem to dismiss any bad stories about Canadians' experience with their healthcare system as health insurance company propaganda, Buggs.

We agree that healthcare in this country is too costly. However, if you believe that government bureaucrats and politicians will deliver better or less costly healthcare and eliminate the 'terrible stories' we hear about people dying or being unable to get care, the chemicals the government has been spraying on us in the contrails of aircraft may finally be working.

oldhomey

crank, I will give you the benefit of the doubt that your final sentence about chemicals the government is spewing through contrails of airplanes is some oddball attempt at humor. But the rest of your premise is simply wrong and false. As for "big government" in Canada sitting in the medical clinics making healthcare decisions and bollixing up proper medical care with unnecessary, mindless bureaucratic interference, consider this:

"The U.S. has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world. More than 31 percent of every dollar spent on health care in the U.S. goes to paperwork, overhead, CEO salaries, profits, etc. The provincial single-payer system in Canada operates with just a 1 percent overhead. Think about it. It is not necessary to spend a huge amount of money to decide who gets care and who doesn’t when everybody is covered."

As for who gets health care and when they get it in Canada vs. the U.S.:

"While HMOs and other private medical insurers in the U.S. do indeed make such decisions, the only people in Canada to do so are physicians. In Canada, the government has absolutely no say in who gets care or how they get it. Medical decisions are left entirely up to doctors, as they should be.

"There are no requirements for pre-authorization whatsoever. If your family doctor says you need an MRI, you get one. In the U.S., if an insurance administrator says you are not getting an MRI, you don’t get one no matter what your doctor thinks — unless, of course, you have the money to cover the cost. "

No system is perfect, crank, but some systems are far more sensible, practicable and of service to the most people at the least amount of money, and what Canada has wins hands down over what the U.S. has in terms of healthcare.

crank

Lighten up, oldpompous. It was humor.

"The rest of your premise is simply wrong and false."

Which one, specifically?

Regarding "big government" in Canada sitting in the medical clinics making healthcare decisions?

Yeah, I'd agree. It would be wrong and false. You see, I didn't make that statement at all. You invented this point and implied I suggested this. #strawman

My comment made no mention of the other things you copied and pasted from some article somewhere relating to pre-authorization, treatment decisions or whether you can get an MRI when one is needed. There was no mention in my comment about any of these things. Read it again.

You copied and pasted this from somewhere..."The U.S. has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world." I don't care where it came from. We agree! Healthcare in the US cost far too much money. Much of that cost has to do with our government, political influence, lobbies, the FDA and other agencies. Do you somehow believe this would magically change if we had government-run single-payer, pompous one?

Let me ask again so that when you fail to address it in your windy response, it will be impossible to miss.
You wrote "The U.S. has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world."Do you somehow believe this would magically change if we had government-run single-payer, pompous one?

My premise was and is two-fold...
1) Everyone has a story they'll tell praising or criticizing Canada's healthcare system. Those same stories can be heard regarding the US system too. Which stories Buggs believes and which he dismisses depends entirely on his position. He wants single-payer so any criticism of single-payer is dismissed as health insurance propaganda. This is silly and quite typical of the way Buggs often views things. Are you suddenly BFFs and in 100% agreement with the man you constantly ridicule, pompous one? #hmmmm #interesting #contrailsgotyoutoo

2) Creating a single-payer healthcare system in the US sounds like a great idea but I do not have any faith at all in the US government's ability to create a single-payer system which actually cuts costs and delivers high-quality healthcare to everyone.

You wrote, "No system in perfect..." I agree. You and others seem to suggest Canada's healthcare system is some sort of utopia. It is, in fact, not perfect in many ways. It is my opinion, based upon numerous factors, that a US version of Canada's system would be MUCH less 'perfect' than Canada's system and deliver far less than promised.

Here are a couple of things to "bare in mine":

1) Perhaps if our government/FDA could simply regulate prescription drugs so consumers (US citizens) could buy them at the same price as they're sold in Canada or at least buy them from Canada, I might have a little faith. Congress couldn't even get this simple measure passed and offered some lame excuses about the safety of Canadian drugs. This would have been a baby step in the right direction. #FDA #pharma #congress #thisaintcanada

https://www.congress.gov/amendment/115th-congress/senate-amendment/178

2) Consider what Obamacare promised versus what was delivered. This alone makes the idea of the US delivering an efficient single-payer system seem absurd.

3) The Canadian woman I mentioned in an earlier comment is an acquaintance who attended UW-L for her masters. She now works in the Chicago area as strength trainer, gymnastics and conditioning coach. She's still a Canadian citizen. She injured her knee while visiting her parents in Ontario over Christmas. She needed an MRI and surgery...5 month wait for the MRI in Canada with surgery sometime later after the MRI was reviewed.

She returned to the US, got the MRI immediately and had surgery within 3 weeks. You talked about outcomes as though you knew something about medicine. The long wait reduced the chances of the best outcome for this woman whose livelihood depended on it. Her employer and parents of the gymnasts she coaches paid for her surgery and related costs and she's back on her feet. In Canada, she'd still be waiting for the MRI.

The wait had nothing to do with insurance.

oldhomey

Well, crank, I won't answer your entire, concise answer to me that takes me to task for my "windiness", which I acknowledge, but would humbly suggest you wrote a post far longer than anybody else's in this string.

Still, I appreciate and bow to you for a very well aimed and deserved kick in my butt for "bare in mine". I often take others to task for murdering their idioms, and I deserve to be taken to task for the same thing.

As for the rest of your reply to me, I beg your forgiveness if I seem to have misjudged your opinion and thought you were accusing Canadian bureaucrats of having a role in medical decision making. It seems to have deeply grieved you, and I apologize.

You take me to task for not actually knowing very much about medical outcomes. Of course I don't, nor do you. But you also take me to task for freely cutting and pasting the work of others to make my case. So far as I can figure out, that is the only way we can hope to oversee good policy decisions by our politicians, which is to refer to solidly researched data and information to form our opinions, and that is why I liberally quote well-researched, solid information here. I am not hiding it or pretending it is mine, I am citing it. Do you have another way to go about this that you think is better? Or are you like Buggs, and trust outfits like Alex Jones and Guccifer 2.0?

"The rest of your premise is simply wrong and false."

You acknowledge the fact that the U.S. healthcare system as it is now is dragged down by more bureaucracy than any other healthcare system in the world, then ask me: "Do you somehow believe this would magically change if we had government-run single-payer, pompous one?" In a word, yes. We get rid of the unnecessary, extraordinarily expensive middle man, the insurance industry, which creates most of the deadening bureaucracy our system is faced with. We are left with the government healthcare bureaucracy, which, I am sure will offer its own painful bureaucratic headaches, but we won't have the insurance company ones to deal with. And, to tell you the truth, I have been on Social Security and Medicare for several years now, and as bureaucracies go, I would say they go pretty smoothly. I have no major complaints.

You say "Everyone has a story they'll tell praising or criticizing Canada's healthcare system. Those same stories can be heard regarding the US system too. " Well don't put everyone in your "everyone" camp. Most people I see arguing for national healthcare don't intimately know the systems in Canada, Denmark, Japan and elsewhere, but they know this: Every other industrialized society in the world has had national health insurance covering 100 percent of their citizens for the past 50 years or more. They spend far, far less on healthcare than America does, and they have better outcomes. There is NO political undercurrent in any one of those nations to do away with national health plans. Overall, they are happy with the plans they have and would raise holy helen if anybody tried to do away with it. As for people in THIS country being happy with what we have, if there are people happy with it -- and you don't seem to be happy with it, yourself -- they would be a political minority. The beef is that it costs too much, it is too complicated, and it is sinful that so many, many millions of people are not protected with healthcare. It should be a right for all people, like it is in the rest of the industrialized world.

Rather than going on with my windiness, I will stop here. If you are still p.o.ed at me on some other facet and think I am "ducking" you, let me know, and I will try to answer you. I am glad, however, that you acknowledge we are in agreement on much of this.

oldhomey

canman, please tell us who all these Canadians are that come to the U.S. for healthcare, and where do the two nickels in their pockets come from? Are you working for the American insurance industry? Try this on for size:

"Most patients who come from Canada to the U.S. for health care are those whose costs are covered by the Canadian governments. If a Canadian goes outside of the country to get services that are deemed medically necessary, not experimental, and are not available at home for whatever reason (e.g., shortage or absence of high tech medical equipment; a longer wait for service than is medically prudent; or lack of physician expertise), the provincial government where you live fully funds your care. Those patients who do come to the U.S. for care and pay out of pocket are those who perceive their care to be more urgent than it likely is. "

canman

Go to Canada and talk to working people who wait for months for simple tests that may have made their lives much better if a diagnosis was done in a more timely matter. I have spent significant time there and know many Canadians that believe their system needs a revamping.

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