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By Jeremy Knox | May 21, 2007

I haven’t seen this movie yet. So I won’t comment on a single damn thing about. I don’t know if it’s either good or bad, nor will you hear me voice an opinion on the subject. However, I am aware of Sir Michael’s tendency to be as loose with the truth as any of his Republican enemies.

But since I haven’t seen the film. I cannot comment on anything. What I can do, is inform American viewers about what I know of the Canadian medical system. A system, that from what I’ve heard, Moore vaunts as far superior to the American system.

I really hope I heard wrong, because if he does that I can tell you right now that he’s gonna make LOTS of enemies in Canada. We despise our Canadian health care system. Every week on national TV news shows angry faces, red with rage, are shouting about how it’s is falling apart and failing. To a Canadian’s eyes, even a little bit of a praise for our shitty s**t-eating s**t system will look like an apologist’s “Triumph of the Wills” of health care.

And just so you’ll know. It ain’t f*****g FREE either.

One look at my paycheck here confirms that I pay… lessee… 269.02$ CND to the government per month. I also pay 59.40$ in medical insurance AND I pay extra taxes at the end of the year. That’s not counting payment for other services which I will never be able to get. All in all it’s a little bit more than 474.30$ CND per month to be a citizen here. I’m no dummy, I know you guys pay more, sometimes WAY f*****g more. I’m not making light of that, but Canadian’s are sick and f*****g tired of never being able to go to a doctor without a 3 month wait and of having to beg a cold impersonal bitch secretary for test results. They’re also sick and f*****g tired of having doctors nearly laugh at them for asking to do a little preventative medecine. I don’t know of a single person that does a yearly checkup. Doctors don’t suggest it and actively dismiss their use unless you’re over 50.

True story: My 50+ year old aunt went to go see her doctor with a numb left leg in 2006. Her doctor made a token examination (checking blood pressure and pulse, listening to heart, that kind of s**t) and said it was just nerves. 4 hours later she had a stroke at home, was driven frantically to the Emergency Room and was made to WAIT there by the staff.


Here’s a few more true things about the Canadian Health Care System:

#1 Because it takes so long for an appointment. The only place to go few a kinda-serious ailment that’ll dissapear by itself (like a bad bout of the flu) long before you get to see your a*****e doctor, is the ER.
#2 A lot of ER’s close between Midnight and 6am
#3 To cut costs ER’s have also cut down on their cleaning staff, which explains why we can’t seem to shake our constant Clostridium difficile infections. Because no one correctly bothers to clean up the s**t, vomit and blood.
#4 Dental care isn’t free unless you’re on welfare, and even then it’s not free to get root canals and crap like that.
#5 Glasses ain’t free.
#6 Medecines are cheaper, but not free. I will admit that we have a nice system of forcing drug companies to release their patents to public domain after a few years so that the drugs can be made generically. You guys could learn from that. But nothing’s free.

Is our system better? Sure, probably. But it’s just as broken as yours in many ways. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that Moore’s looking in the wrong places if he thinks Canada has any kind of solution to the American problem, and God help us all because it’s only gonna get worse.

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  1. Professor Tom says:

    My beef is that there is no motivation to improve and no room to reward based on merit due to the unionized positions.
    You, sir, have hit upon the correct and appropriate point. The beauty of health care in the US is that the “better” the doctor the more people are willing to pay for his services. This is simple supply and demand economics. However, most (lower and middle) class people think they are entitled to “the best” and that someone else should pay for it. What they fail to realize is that when the government pays, the money is really coming out of their pocket to begin with, but because they don’t see six column figures leaving their wallets, they think they have really scammed someone.

    Therefore, there are two reasons that health care in America cost so much: because the view of society is screw the other guy before he screws you, lower class people are always looking to make a quick buck and what a better place to do that then in a doctor’s office. The way they see it, doctors make plenty of money and can afford to share it. Of course, you and I know that the physician in question had to spend mountains of money and time in school so that they could help the sorry son-of-a-bitch that is suing them. All a patient needs is a trail lawyer like John Edwards who can channel a fetus’ thoughts and bam! they’ve got it made. Thus doctors have to have malpractice insurance. Add to this the fact that people want to get something for nothing and thus they too purchase insurance. Guess who makes all the money in the health care industry? A ring-ding to the guy in the back who said insurance companies.

    The other reason that health care costs so much is that there is a shortage in health care providers. Granted, it’s not at epidemic proportions, but because it takes so long to train and there is so much risk involved, it’s hard in an over-regulated market to lower costs of operation to pass on to the consumer. Hence…

    But the good news is (just like anywhere else free markets are allowed to operate) those who have the money to purchase health care outright get what they pay for in a timely manner. If only more people could see the issue from this perspective and seek to raise their standard of living by becoming more valuable to society so that their time is more valuable so that they can earn more money in a shorter period of time.

  2. Mark says:

    I agree with Matt, to expect absolutely FREE health care is absurd. Of course the money for a government-funded health care system has to come from someone, and that someone is always the taxpayer, no matter in which country you look at. The point is however, that this burden is fairly distributed amongst all citizens, since although some will make use of the system more often than others, everyone should have equal access. When i say fairly distributed, I mean that it is an affordable chunk from a working person’s paycheck, no matter what his/her job.

    You having a desk job, what I can only assume is a decent paying one, complaining about $270 CDN in income tax + $60 in medical insurance, falls on deaf ears to someone paying about 4 times as much taxes as that, living in NL. It’s one of the tenets of a socialistic system, which Canada does adopt to a certain extent.

    Michael Moore exaggerates, but that’s nothing new. He’s done it in every film he’s made. He exaggerates to make a point, though, that the Canadian system, despite is faults, is a much more fairly structured and effective system than that of USA. And having lived in Canada half of my life, I can say that his point is valid.

  3. Matt says:

    Nothing’s free, am I right? If it’s government run than the money is coming from taxes or a levi of sorts. At least we get to see the amount that goes towards it and complain accordingly.

    As for the rest of your complaints, they don’t all match my personal experience.

    1. I can see my family doctor within two days of phoning and have done so three times in the past two years. The greater problem here is that so many people in my area (southeastern Ontario) lack family doctors to begin with.

    2. Our secondary ER for the city (actually termed “urgent care” and not “emergency”) closes around then but the regional hospital is open the entire time.

    3. Our hospital does have problems with infection control but it’s more due to the fact that it’s an old hospital and we have carpet in too many places. Disclaimer, I work here ;).

    4, 5, 6. That’s what your personal plan is for. I don’t pay for dental, glasses, or prescription drugs. Well, I might for glasses, the coverage isn’t so fantastic.

    Overall I agree that it’s not as rosey as many people picture it to be. My beef is that there is no motivation to improve and no room to reward based on merit due to the unionized positions. I have worked in or with half a dozen hospitals and the mindset is “no one dies on my shift”. Not that they’re worried about people dieing, just that they don’t want it to happen to them.

  4. Professor Tom says:

    most political activists don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re just there to collect the money, tell you how to run your life and leave.

  5. jd says:

    Micheal Moore really doesn’t know much about Canada. My grandpa needs emergency surgery right away and he will not be able to get it for at least a few months if he is lucky. Moore’ problem is that he idealizes Canada, but really doesn’t know that much about the nation. On the John Stewart show Moore claimed that “Canada doesn’t like to invade other countries”. Canada currently has a large military presents in Afghanistan. I like the fact that Moore respects Canada but he really doesn’t know much about the country.

  6. Professor Tom says:

    What injustice?

    You mean the injustice that illegal aliens get better treatment compliments of the U.S. Taxpayers whereas Americans get ripped off? You’re damned right!

  7. Elisabeth says:

    This is very interesting, thanks for the info. I think that what Moore is doing by exposing the injustices of the American health care system is opening everyone’s eyes to the problem as a whole everywhere. And hopefully this will get us all on the road to making it better. I can’t wait to see Sicko.

  8. Professor Tom says:

    at least someone has the sense to tell the truth.

  9. Dave Lawler says:

    I have to agree. A choice is still a benefit as it seems to me (even through the diatribe) that Canadians do have a choice. From what I understand there are tiers to particular benefits and not just the base of what is collected from a paycheck.

    The sick joke is that “Universal” Health Care is a theory that doesn’t work. It does a disservice to those who’ve had to pay out for insurance they haven’t required for years, as well as those (some friends of mine) who work jobs that provide insurance on a commission basis (they work in sales, if they don’t make a certain number of sales, they don’t get insurance). Adopting an insurance platform based on the Canadian platform would work better. A basic benefits package for all and then “premium” service for those with more money and time on their hands. Americans would eat it up with a spoon.

  10. Don Lewis says:

    yours is superior to ours because….we don’t have one!

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