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Aw, I'll chime in now on health care
 A friend of mine who is better versed in Canadian history than me reminded me the other day that the journey to universal health care coverage was fraught with debate and hyperbole. Doctors went on strike for 3 weeks! It seems so strange to imagine that past - universal health care is a sacred cow here in Canada. Don't touch it. Don't talk about privatizing it. Tommy Douglas (incidentally the grandfather of Keifer Sutherland) was the first premiere to aim for universal health care in his province - he was recently voted the most important Canadian in our short history in a country-wide CBC poll.

Well there goes my shaky grasp of health care. I could bring up quotes and articles for you to make this more solid and factual, but the truth is I have lots of shit to get done tonight before bed, and I just wanted to get this off my chest.

People are going to freak about changes. There seems to be an hysterical climate of opposition right now in the US. But if you can manage it to make it and pass some sort of program that makes getting your health care attainable and stress-free, it will have been worth it.

I am fortunate to not have had to worry about serious health issues in my family, but if I feel sick, I go to my doctor or a walk-in clinic and show them my health card. I don't fill in anything. I don't pay anything. I don't get a bill. When I broke bones, I went to emergency. I got x-rays, a cast, (one time I even had surgery) and physio. No forms, no bills, no hassle.  When I had the operation, I didn't even have a job.

When I got pregnant, I got to chose a midwife although I could have chosen a doctor. At the hospital where G was delivered, I had doctors, nurses and midwives. After the baby came, a midwife made calls to my house for two weeks in the middle of winter, at first every other day. It was awesome. 

When I need a doctor's note or a phone-renewed prescription, I do pay a small fee. I rely on my company to cover me for dentist and alternative medicine and to subsidize any prescription costs.  While I got a whole year of maternity leave at half my salary, self-employed people here don't yet have that benefit. And yes, there is probably more waiting for optional procedures than we'd like. But that's what happens when EVERYONE has health care. 
When my Sydney was born in NY, she had a hernia, something not uncommon in infants, requiring minor surgery. The insurance company said they would not cover it because they went to a doctor that wasn't part of their network.  um. The doctor was so appalled, he ate the cost. I am sure everyone knows someone with a story like this.

Sometimes I look at my little health card and marvel at my luck. No one should have to wonder whether they can afford to get sick. Getting well should be the only preoccupation. 

And the weird thing is, I'd bet that if you sat any government rep in the US down, they would agree with that premise. But no one is even proposing Canadian style socialized health care in the US. And I don't get what everyone is so angry about. But I hear 60 years ago, there was lots of muck-racking  and heckling, too.  But what we got out of it was a beautiful thing. The luxury to get well.

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9.14.2009
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post #1466
bio: adina
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9/14/2009
22:09

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