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Am out in the sticks with the family. Some of whom actually lives in houses now instead of ust double-wide trailer. Sorry, mobile homes. 'Cept, as Step-mom once told me, "They ain't mobile home no more, cuz we done took the wheels off!" Except, you know, imagine that being said with a strong southern accent.

*snicker* Oh, my family. I love them to bits, but there is no denying they are REDNECKS!

Also, THEY HAVE WIFI NOW! OMG INTERNETS, WE DON'T HAVE TO BE APART!

*cough*

So. Dad is actually doing better than I thought he would be, but not nearly as good as he should be. He showed me his scar from the heart surgery toay and informed me that, all told, that scar cost damn near $200,000. I think I choked a little and had another, "Holy FUCK am I ever glad I live in Canada!" Even though we admittedly have issues with our medical system - it sure isn't perfect with the shortages, packed ERs, delays and whatnot - but DAYUM! How on God's green earth can people afford to get sick in the US?

Dad and stepmom regaled me with stories of people they knew who didn't get treatment because they didn't have insurance and who subsequently died. And they were just so matter of fact about it - with an attitude of 'yeah, it's sad, but that's what happens when you don't have insurance'.

I've said it before, but I've gotta say it again - I still need someone who is against the idea of having MEDICAL COVERAGE FOR ALL US CITIZENS to explain to me why they think medical care should only be a privilege for those who can afford it in terms that actually make sense to me. As in, not about money. Because I Just. Don't. Get it. Dude. I am happy and willing to pay higher taxes and know that myself and other Canadians have a medical safety net because of it.

When I got so sick and nearly died a couple years ago, doctor visits, ER room visits and hospital stays weren't even on my radar of things I needed to worry about because, of course, if I got so sick the doctor admitted me to the hospital, I would go. I never had to worry about losing my home, my car, my possessions, going bankrupt - good lord! The stress alone of worrying about all that would be enough to kill you. I didn't have to worry about being charged to tests and x-rays and medications. I didn't have to worry about the nurses visit - if I'd needed an ambulance, I would have had to pay for that, but that's it.

So. Bottom line, once again, is that Canada is AWESOME and I'm so glad I live there. And I am so very sorry for the folks I know in the US who have medical issues and struggle with costs and co-pays for things I take for granted. I wish you all health and happiness and hope that YOU DON'T end up with a $200,000 bill.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
u_must_b_joking
Oct. 22nd, 2012 07:50 am (UTC)
ping me when you get back!
Canada is awesome, and you have a warm welcome from yours truly waiting for ya when you return! Can I make you and yourn some dinner after you get back? Haven't seen you in YONKS!
sgamadison
Oct. 22nd, 2012 12:30 pm (UTC)
Even though we admittedly have issues with our medical system - it sure isn't perfect with the shortages, packed ERs, delays and whatnot - but DAYUM! How on God's green earth can people afford to get sick in the US?

They can't. But according to Romney, no one in the US has ever died from the lack of health insurance. *eyeroll*

I *have* health insurance--barely. My premiums went up by 30% this quarter because I entered a new demographic (one that TPTB did not want).

They ain't mobile home no more, cuz we done took the wheels off!" Except, you know, imagine that being said with a strong southern accent.

Um, sadly this is me. Downwardly mobile in the US, that's what I am! Just warning you, so the accent won't shock you when we meet again!
:-)
enigmaticblues
Oct. 22nd, 2012 01:14 pm (UTC)
Since I work in the healthcare field, this should change in 2014, assuming the ACA doesn't get repealed. At that point, the only thing insurance companies will be able to charge you more for is age and smoking habits. (And those ratios are strictly limited.) So, if it's still true in another year and change, it's time to raise hell.
sgamadison
Oct. 22nd, 2012 04:38 pm (UTC)
As long as Romney does not reverse it, which he's promised to do if elected. Reversing the health care act and cutting off funding to PBS are the only definitive things he HAS announced. Everything is else empty promises, handwaving, or policies he flip flops on. But he has stood firm on his resolve to repeal the health care act. :-(
enigmaticblues
Oct. 22nd, 2012 01:13 pm (UTC)
Bottom line: you can't afford to get sick in the US. Even if you have insurance, and I do, and even if you have pretty decent insurance, which I do, you're still looking at a hefty doctor bill for a hospital visit.

So, yes. Canada is awesome. And if a certain person wins the election, I may start looking into immigrating. You guys need another lawyer, right?
sgamadison
Oct. 22nd, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
Bottom line: you can't afford to get sick in the US. Even if you have insurance, and I do, and even if you have pretty decent insurance, which I do, you're still looking at a hefty doctor bill for a hospital visit.

Yes. I'm still paying off the $4K that wasn't covered by insurance with my GI workup the summer before last...


Oh, and I should add that members of Congress automatically get both health insurance coverage AND a pension plan...

Edited at 2012-10-22 04:42 pm (UTC)
ladyniko
Oct. 22nd, 2012 10:03 pm (UTC)
Bottom line: you can't afford to get sick in the US. Even if you have insurance

Yes, yes, and yes again.... when my gallbladder went south in 2001, I had a job that health insurance started on day 1, thank god, but I still had a bill of over $1000 at the end of it from the surgeon.
anneruane
Oct. 22nd, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
I'll echo the others - you can't afford to get sick in the US. Even my folks, who are very well off, are being bled dry by the donut hole in Medicare.

My problem is with how they're trying to accomplish this. I do agree with most of the ACA, but there's one not-so-little thing that bugs the crap out of me. They're requiring that everyone BUY health insurance. The only people who get free health insurance are those who fall below an insanely low definition of poverty level. Those who don't fall under that threshold but can't afford to buy health insurance will pay massive tax penalties.

Health care in this country is a system that is completely broken, and they're trying to fix it with a bunch of band-aids. What they need to do is to toss the old system out on its ear and start from scratch. But they're politicians and they're dealing with an industry that rakes in a ton of money, so they'll NEVER do that. :o(
mackenziesmomma
Oct. 22nd, 2012 03:37 pm (UTC)
I totally fall under the "I don't have insurance and pray that I don't get sick" category. I could *technically* buy a policy through the state but the premium is nearly 20% of my monthly income. So I don't. Oh and I have some health crap that I've been dealing with for nearly 10 years (thyroid stuff) and was just recently able to get back on the drugs I need thanks to our local free clinic.

Then there is my dad- he's self employed and has diabetes. He can't afford any insurance and has to pay out of pocket for his insulin. Which can run a couple hundred dollars per *bottle*. Thankfully he now qualifies for the 'patient assistance' programs.
alsogater
Oct. 22nd, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
First: glad to hear your dad is better than expected.
Second: I pay through the nose for Medicare - which doubled under that Shrub who preceded the present Prez and about a 3rd of my part time job goes for an additional Part C so I don't have to worry about co-pays or that 20% not covered by Parts A and B.

So - Amen to all of that and I'm close enough to walk across the border if that other guy wins. ;) (But they don't want people my age to immigrate.)
rhuad
Oct. 22nd, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
So VERY true! We've just returned from a vacation in Mexico, and Mom was in hospital for 10 days - $3,000 a day!!! (Thank goodness for travel insurance.) My resolution for this week is no more cross border shopping (I live in White Rock) - we may be heavily taxed in Canada, but those taxes pay for an essential social safety net.
morvab
Oct. 22nd, 2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
Oh so totally with you on loving Canada! I'm in Winnipeg and every time I talk with my relatives in Wisconsin about health care related stuff I'm in shock all over again. It ain't perfect here but it is pretty damn good, and in my experience when there is something immediately life threatening like your Dad's cardiac situation they move pretty fast, long wait times or no. I don't cross the border even for a day without my Blue Cross travel health policy, just in case, because I am literally terrified of the US health care system. I know there will be lots of hospitals with good care to assist me if something happens, but I am one of those selfish spoiled types who doesn't want to go bankrupt and become homeless because of a medical emergency!
lunabee34
Oct. 22nd, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
I completely agree with you. We have really good insurance, but even so, we paid about 2 grand for Josh being sick this summer. When he hurt his leg, we paid 3. Fortunately, we could afford to do so without going bankrupt, but we are really really lucky.

Also, I got an awesome postcard from you!!!!! Made my day.
curiouswombat
Oct. 22nd, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
am happy and willing to pay higher taxes and know that myself and other Canadians have a medical safety net because of it.

Brits feel the same - as do all the Europeans I know - oddly enough I've never met one who would swap their current system for the US one.
wonderbadger
Oct. 22nd, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
When my sweetie moved here from the US, it took years and years for her to get over the "can I afford to go to the doctor?" mentality. The American system is so fvcked up.
retro_rider55
Oct. 22nd, 2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
To kill two birds with one stone
If you had heart surgery in the US, after you'd (futilely) thrown what you have towards the bill, you'd be (Matt Foley voice) " - living in a van, down by the river..."

Redneck? MY dad was one- being mostly Scots, he didn't tan and so all the years working in the garden or fishing off his boat left him with a permanent red ring around his clavicle. AND he was a YRB of an eastern chauvinist, so...
sgteam14283
Oct. 23rd, 2012 03:35 am (UTC)
I know how you feel. I'm actually losing my coverage at the end of this month because I'm "too old" to be on my parent's plan. And I'm in a job where there's not really any coverage plus I'm on medication that's rather expensive.

I agree with you on everything you posted, in fact I'm considering moving to Canada at some point in my life because I love the country. :D
cordykitten
Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
Wow. $200,000? That is really crazy. You really have to have insurance to avoid having to pay for that much money (or don't go to the doctor ... and maybe die).

Glad to hear your dad is better.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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