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Thread: Canada vs U.S.

  1. #11
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    I too am a Canadian. In 2001 my husband had surgery for colon cancer, 2003 surgery for liver cancer, 2007 surgery for lung cancer and in 2010 surgery for bladder cancer. Today he has lung cancer again. Because we are over 65 we pay only a dispensing fee of $6.11 for prescriptions. In 2007 I had quadruple by-pass surgery. I gladly pay more in taxes to be able to have major surgeries and not have to worry about how they are to be paid. Re: Trillium. I have a friend who has multiple "strange" diseases. She applied for and received benefits through Trillium. Her drugs would have been $3,000.00 per month and Trillium covered them.

  2. #12
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    In 2009 I got the bad news that I had prostate cancer. My surgery and and salvage radiation were covered by OHIP, the Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan. I was covered for whatever treatment I chose. If I wanted surgery, it was available. If I had wanted brachytherapy, it was available.
    I had surgery at GNGH (Greater Niagara General Hospital), and my radiation was at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton. All of my tests were and are still covered. I can get my blood tests done at whatever clinic is handiest to me.
    My drugs for ADT were covered by a private health plan through my employer but if I wasn't covered and could not have afforded them, my wife and I were informed that "arrangements could be made", most notably through the Trillium foundation. If I had difficulty getting to and from the Juravinski Cancer Centre, which is a 30 minute drive from my home, transportation was available through the Canadian Cancer Society.
    What I did not have to worry about was borrowing from my family, taking out a second mortgage, or losing my job because my insurance premiums were going to be raised for my company. I don't have to worry that I'll lose my health insurance if I need more treatments down the road because it was deemed a preexisting condition.
    It really bothers me when I read that someone has to resort to "watchful waiting" with prostate cancer for a few years until they're old enough for Medicare to kick in.
    There are some very real issues, mostly due to politicians making short sighted tax saving budget cuts. Some of which take years to undo.
    It's not a perfect system, but it worked for me. I'd rather pay an extra 30 cents extra on a bag of chips than to lose my home because I couldn't afford health care.
    Last edited by Woody NF; 06-20-2011 at 11:21 AM.

  3. #13
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I have tears in my eyes when I'm reading about people having to give up all of what they have so they have a chance to survive.

    I can put British perspective into this as we have NHS (National Health Service), medication and treatments are free to under 16s (16-18 too if you are in full time education), also to pensioners (over 60), also you don't pay for prescriptions if you are out of work or on certain benefits. Also all treatments for cancer are free, whatever age or income. And all tests etc are free when referred from a GP and carried out at hospitals (applies to everyone)

    However it's a double edged sword. Obviously in a case of lumps which can be cancer then you get sent pretty quickly for tests and consultation. Otherwise it depends on a doctor. It's not uncommon to end up with paracetamol and a 'good word' rather than a more direct approach.

  4. #14
    I know there are many different experiences. But to state my experience, I must say that I have been blessed since my Glioblastoma Multiforme IV diagnosis last June. I have had a craniotomy at a fantastic hospital with all the tests at minimal out pocket costs. I have been on $8,000 of chemotherapy per month, but again my cost is about $60/month. Of course, many other drugs (steroids, anti-seizure, etc), again at minimal costs to me. During all ofnthe I have been able to select what I felt are the finest doctors anywhere. The treatments were always expeidient. I'm having MRIs every 8 weeks (last year almost every 4 weeks). I have medical teams in Atlanta and at Duke University pioneering the research trail and presenting me with experimental trials that did not exist just 5 years ago. Not too long ago, a patient with my diagnosis would be sent home after diagnosis to get their affairs in order. While, I do have what is considered a cancer without a cure, I am blessed to have on outstanding medical team doing everything possible to help me maintain a quality and extended life.

    I know there are many different experiences and I'm just a single point in this sea of data, but I know I'm fortunate and thankful to have such a great medical system.

    Best regards,

    GBM4 - Left Parietal
    4.4 x 4.0 x 4.5cm
    Diagnosed 6/17/2010
    Craniotomy, 98% Resection
    Radiation + Temodar
    ATTAC Immunotherapy

    Glenn's Website

  5. #15
    Top User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Tough subject with no easy answers. As stated, there is really no such thing as "free" health care. And comparing one country to another is always a dicey comparison, as countries are usually different in a wide variety of ways. eg sure Canada can spend more to provide medical benefits, as their military budget is scarcely anything. And why? Because big brother USA spends hundreds of billions on a huge military and no one would dare touch Canada due to that. PS that is not a slam on Canada in the least or me trying to brag about the U.S. Just a statement of fact and that people should consider all factors before ripping into the U.S. for not having "free" healthcare or comparing it to another country.

    As far as I'm concerned, the real problem with healthcare is basically greed and corporate/capitalistic BS. The insurance companies, the "hospitals" (aka corporation organizations themselves now, mostly) - they are all to blame for increasingly caring more and more about the almighty dollar and not giving a #### about saving lives. I have seen it first-hand and to call it repulsive is a gross understatement.
    Last edited by Joe7; 07-12-2011 at 02:09 AM.

  6. #16
    I have had a front row seat to the pros vs. cons of American health care. I feel confident in saying that if I lived anywhere but the USA I would have been dead now-twice. In 2004, I had a carcinoid tumor in my lung. The tumor bed ulcerated and was pumping pus all through my chest cavity, making me ineligible for standard surgery. My life was saved because a procedure only done by 20 doctors at the time, all in the USA, (Resection by a YAG laser using a bronchoscope) was able to zap the tumor so that my lungs, or what was left of them, could heal up, though I did have to have two lobes removed a few months later. In any other country, I would not have left the hospital alive. Then in 2007, during a routine checkup, while being having my prostate digitally examined, :-0, the doctor said something felt funny and it might not be a bad idea to have a colonoscopy. Eight days later I found out I had rectal cancer, and within a couple of weeks was starting chemo/radiation and had surgery three months later. Because the colonoscopy was not an emergency procedure, in Canada/UK/rest of civilized world, I have been told and read in numerous sources that is would have taken me a few months in most locations to schedule the scope. The tumor had not yet metastasized, but my oncologist said that if it had been discovered a few months later the horse would have been out of the barn door and surgery would not even have been an option. So that is two examples of why American medicine is the best in the world.
    Here is the flip side. Even though I have had decent private medical insurance all of my adult life, the deductibles/copays, etc..., have financially decimated me. I had to go BK last year, and while there were other contributing factors, like the fact that I decided to start my own business about a year before getting sick, (ever try to run an insurance agency from your hospital bed?) medical bills were at least 50% or more responsible. My credit had been so good that I had several credit cards with five figure credit lines, when I got the medical bill I just pulled out a card and paid it, until the day came that I couldn't make the payments on the cards. Time to call the attorney....
    So now, I am good until the end of the year, having hit my out of pocket max, but don't know how I will pay next year when everything resets. As the good book says, sufficient is the day unto the evil therof, so I'll worry about that in January.
    So dead or destitute, which is worse? Don't know that there is a good answer to that question.

  7. #17
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    well, I am a Canadian with stage 4 prostate cancer, have worked for 35 years paying for benifits package short term long term ect.. What the insurance people fail to tell you when you are heathly and paying your premiums is that if you end up having to claim anything on long term disability it will be an offset payment to your cpp disability payment so as far as I am concerned they have a license to steal. I never dreamt of the hoops you would be asked to jump through, the accusations of pre-exsiting conditions ect... I was always under the impression that your health benifits and cpp would be seperate, one should have no bearing on the other. I guess the devil is in the details but the private insurance companies in Canada sure pass the buck if and when they have to actually have to pay

  8. #18
    As for the LTD, same here in the US. Any income you get from anywhere else is deducted from their total and you WILL apply for SSDisability and that will be taken from the total. So if you have a plan paid for by your employer and buy more privately, that money is wasted.
    Spouse/Caregiver of 56 yr old male
    Diagnosed Primary CNS Lymphoma 2/2011
    HDMTX Chemo- 8 cycles
    HDMTX Maintenance Chemo- 11 cycles
    Complications: clots, kidney issues, slow clearance of
    chemo, dermatitis
    11/2013 Recurring clots in lungs/legs
    Scan 12-27-13 all clear
    Scan 3-13 all clear
    Next scan in October, done and all clear!
    Went early for scanxiety in Aug 2014, all clear!
    Scan Feb 2015, all clear!

  9. #19
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    I've also been saved by the U.S. healthcare system. About seven years ago, I went to the hospital with what my doctor had told me was the flu. It ended up being pneumonia and I was immediately admitted to the hospital. Within 24-hours, my lungs were filling up and the doctors put me into a medically-induced coma in order to treat me. For the next two weeks, the doctors tried different medicine and treatments with no success. I was given about a 15% chance of surviving at one point. One of the doctors who were busy researching and studying to figure out how to help me, tried some new medicine on me. Each vial of medicine cost about $13,000 and while it was expensive, it saved my life. My lungs got better and I was woken up and went through weeks of physical therapy to build my muscles back up. Without good insurance, I would probably be paying for the medical bills for the rest of my life. Even short term health insurance might be a good option over nothing.
    Last edited by TammyK; 04-09-2012 at 05:12 PM.
    Tammy - mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer

  10. #20
    I like socialized healthcare. It's not perfect, but it's a damn sight better than having a heart attack over a medical bill for a one night visit at the E.R.

    From my experience, yes, socialized medicine saved my life. Private health care is missing the 'care' factor. You're always worrying about whether you can afford the most basic things that in socialized care is generally taken care of. The US model sucks. World famous for its advanced medical treatments, but who the heck can afford it, and even a good insurance plan can be horrendous. Deductibles on top of the premiums, copays and then the doctors love referring you to specialists for the most basic of tests that could have been performed via their own labs. Rip off! (Personal experience.)

    Opting for private care in a society that has public socialized medicine also showed me that the care was different. The care was about the dollar.

    I would rather pay higher taxes with the knowledge that anyone in my state can receive medical attention without it sticking them with a financial heart attack. Your health IS your wealth.


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