The Truth about the Canadian Health Care System

by Frank S. Rosenbloom, M.D.

President Barack Obama and supportive members of Congress were able to get the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) passed, in part by extolling the virtues of the Canadian health care system. In speech after speech, Obama has touted the alleged lower cost, “universal coverage” and better medical care of that system. All of the mentioned supposed benefits are untrue, but the most disconcerting fact is that Mr. Obama has never discussed any deficiencies of the Canadian system.

Other influential people have shared their concerns about the serious deficiencies in the Canadian health care system. Perhaps the most important of these is the man some call the ”father” of the Canadian health care system, Claude Castonguay. Although several provinces had government involvement in health care from 1946, Castonguay was the pioneer of socialized medicine in Quebec, which gave impetus to the establishment of a nationwide socialized medical care law in 1966.

However, in 2008 Castonguay had this to say about the health care system: “If nothing is done, at one point we will reach a crisis point. This is why we say it is urgent to act. There’s no miracle solution, there is no simple solution.” He has urged some privatization in the health care system to increase choice and fees of up to $100 for doctor visits. How could this be? Haven’t we been led to believe that the Canadian health care system is financially stable? In fact, the system is close tocollapse.

Let’s review the facts. The Canadian health care system was established in the 1960s, when the government was spending like a drunken sailor trying to promote economic growth. Sound familiar? The assumption was that the economy would grow at a predictable rate and that the system therefore would be affordable. However, Canadians made the same fundamental mistakes governments always make when establishing entitlement programs; that the economy would act predictably and that the program’s costs would grow in a predictable linear fashion. These two assumptions have proven to be incorrect in all cases, as they were in establishing our ownMedicare system.

Health care reform has been a serious issue in Canada for over fifteen years, as the financial burdens of socialized medicine have put increasing strain on resources. Canadian media regularly trumpets fears about escalating health care costs. Furthermore, since accurate statistics are kept only on government spending, substantial hidden costs are associated with that system. Some Canadians are even breaking the law by opening private clinics to relieve a system that is imploding. One significant reason the Canadian system has lasted this long is the safety valve provided by the U.S. system, where Canadians can receive timely care at a fair price. Yet, if you believe President Obama, the Canadian health care system moves along like a well oiled machine.

Although Canadians spend less per capita than we do in the U.S., the rate of rise in their health care costs has been at times equal to or greater than ours during the past decade. So, how can we be told that Canadian health care costs are rising at a slower rate than our own? The rate of rise in Canadian health care expenditures can be seen by reviewing the widely available graph below.

Canadian Institute for Health Information

The graph shows total expenditures in constant 1997 dollars. A quick review shows Canadian health care costs rose about 240 percent from 1996 to 2009, by which time they actually exceeded $180 billion.

By contrast, the rise in U.S. health care costs can be reviewed below.


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary. National Health Expenditure Accounts – Projected, Table 1: National Health Expenditures; Aggregate and Per Capita Amounts, Percent Distribution, and Average Annual Percent Growth, by Source of Funds: Calendar Years 2003-2018

We see that in 1996, U.S. health care spending was about $1 trillion. By 2009 it had reached about $2.4 trillion, which is an increase during that period of about 240%. Now, wait a minute! The rate of rise of Canadian health care costs is really no lower than ours? Yes, President Obama, (and Governor Kitzhaber), there is no Santa Claus, and no Shangri-La. The often reported, widely disproportionate cost increases between the Canadian and the U.S. health care systems are a myth.

Statistics can be adjusted to promote a particular ideology, as was seen by the graph above adjusted to constant 1997 dollars and the addition of the “projected” 2018 spending in the U.S. graph. Despite these difficulties, the truth about the Canadian health care system and socialized medicine is available to anyone who diligently studies the matter. Unfortunately, many Americans have relied on liberal politicians for their information, and nothing but higher costs and lower quality medical care will be the inevitable result. If we really want costs to decrease while maintaining quality health care, we need real free market reform before the inevitable complete collapse that will occur nationally under ObamaCare and the disaster that will befall Oregon under Gov.Kitzhaber’s reform proposals.


Frank S. Rosenbloom M.D. is a practicing physician and president of the Docs 4 Patient Care Oregon chapter. He is a guest writer for the Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

 

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  • Bob Clark

    The real essence of Obamacare is ultimately price controls resulting in reduced service or no service.  At least with private health care there is much more innovation.  For instance, urgent care clinics are now sprouting up in the U.S and the costs are much, much lower than going to see the doctor in the hospital with an urgent scheduling.  This doesn’t happen under a slow moving bureaucracy like public healthcare.  If the government made computers, for instance, they’d probably be the size of the empire state building – government tending to be very slow when it comes to innovation.

    • David Appell

      Urgent-care clinics are no substitute for seeing a regular doctor under a health insurance system. They are a band-aid system, and they do not provide

      1) follow-up care
      2) medications
      2) a doctor familiar with the patient and her history
      3) preventative care
      4) regular monitoring and testing
      5) care such as physical therapy, etc 

      What you end up with is a lot of people who can’t get care anywhere else flooding urgent-care centers and, thus, ruining them too for the people who really do need urgent care. 

  • HoboJoe

    If their system is so great why are thousands of these Canucks coming across our borders for health care?
    Ask yourself that before you sign on to some stupid socialist medecine plan that will not work ever.
    None of them have.
    Not a one.

    • David Appell

      So many falsehoods in one small reply.

      1) It is a myth that lots of Canadians come to the US for health care:
      http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/phantoms-in-the-snow

      2) Canada has socialized insurance, not “socialized medicine.”

      3) About 1.6 million Americans are expected to travel abroad next year for medical care. 
      http://www.medicaltourismassociation.com/en/surveys-quotes.html
       
      4) Experience and studies have shown that countries with single-payer systems provide better health care, at lower costs, to more people than does the US.

      5) Health insurance costs in the US doubled in the last decade, to $19K/yr for a family of four. At that rate it will be almost $40,000/yr by 2020. How many employers will provide it then?

      6) US governments already pay for half of all health care delivered in America.

      7) Europeans pay more out-of-pocket for their health care than do Americans.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    The basic liberal theory of single payer health care goes like this – “The foundation of my belief is it works over there”. In other words the single biggest reason liberals will give is because in Pickacountry Europe, the government runs health care, they spend less on it and people get better care.

    This would seem a hard thing to debate, because all of these aspects are constantly repeated in the press to the point that whether they are true or not does not matter, you cant argue against them.

    I don’t. What I would argue is that whether or not such systems work or do not work in Europe or Canada has no bearing on them working here.

    For a real deer in the headlights look from a liberal, I will also point out European education systems also spend less per pupil than American ones, are they suggesting teachers in the US are overpaid?

    There are endless examples of this. Europeans have a very good rail system. We have Amtrak. Our government cannot successfully run a railroad. You want to trust them with  health care?

    How about illegal aliens? I can guarantee you, illegals in European countries have no where near the range of services and benefits they have in the US. You think that isn’t a factor in our health care costs? It sure is in our schools.

    It’s real simple:

    The Post Office has been around over 100 years, its broke.

    Social Security is coming up on 100 years, its broke.

    Medicare has been around something like 50 years, it’s broke.

    So my argument to a liberal is:

    Please tell me why letting government run all of health care will somehow be the one magic thing, the one single amazing shining star example of something government runs well.

    And if you say “works in Europe”, I’ll bury ya.

    • valley dude

      “Please tell me why letting government run all of health care will
      somehow be the one magic thing, the one single amazing shining star
      example of something government runs well.”

      Since no one is arguing for that, there is no need to tell you that. Most European health systems are mixed public and private sector, like ours. The differences are that theirs are more tightly regulated, the private sector parts are non-profit, and most use global budgeting to control costs.

      As for the rest of your arguments, well as usual they just are not factual. Neither SSI nor Medicare are “broke.” Both have the current and projected ability to pay benefits in the near term. Both can be secure for the long term with minor adjustments.  

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Since no one is arguing for that, there is no need to tell you that.

        Wrong. Obama had more than a few people in the base upset because he didn’t go for single payer. Sorry, single payer is in fact something many liberals argue for.

        >As for the rest of your arguments, well as usual they just are not factual. Neither SSI nor Medicare are “broke.”

        Wrong. SS and Medicare have no ability to pay the benefits promised under current obligations.

        >Both have the current and projected ability to pay benefits in the near term.

        Wrong, SS ran a $49B deficit last year and is expected to run a $46B deficit this year according to the SS trustees report.

        http://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/index.html

        >Both can be secure for the long term with minor adjustments. 

        Wrong. There is no currently proposed plan to fix any of this. Minor adjustments have been proposed in the past and anyone doing so has been hammered, therefore such things are not minor and are impossible politically.

        Maybe next time dont just make things up and expect to win? I mean seriously, are you the last person on the planet who thinks SS and Medicare are fiscally sound?

        • valley dude

          Single payer is not “government run health care.” Its government run “insurance”. Great Britain is the only nation I know of with government run health care, and no one argued for that, even on Obama’s left. And Obama himself certainly never argued for it.

          Current obligations projected into infinity have no meaning.  The obligations can be adjusted, as can the means to pay for them, meaning there is no “broke.”

          The “deficit” last year was due to a temporary cut in the SSI intake. You might as well claim the Defense Department is broke.

          There are plenty of plans to “fix” SSI and Medicare. There just aren’t any plans on the table with majority support in both houses. But there will be. Don;t worry your pretty little head so much.

          Win what? An argument with you? Its not my goal Rupert. It would be like winning an argument with my wall. Only my wall usually makes better return arguments, because my wall is at least never wrong.

    • David Appell

      Except in the UK, governments in Europe do not “run health care.” They run the insurance system. Just as the US does not “run” Medicare, they run the medicare payment system. Patients still obtain their health care through private doctors and hospitals, who hire their own staff and buy their own materials. 

      Now that the basic premise of your post is falsified, would you like to take another shot at it? 

      • Rupert in Springfield

        Except that was not the premise of my argument. Wheather the government runs the hospital itswelf, or is the single payer is irrelevant to my point. Government runs Medicare even though its simply insurance. They set doctor fees etc. Got it now?

        Now that you have brought up a side issue of no real relevance, would you care to actually address the argument? Or are you still coming up empty handed as always??

    • David Appell

      Rupert wrote:“This would seem a hard thing to debate, because all of these aspects are constantly repeated in the press to the point that whether they are true or not does not matter, you cant argue against them.”

      Well, YOU can’t argue against them because you never have any facts and don’t think they matter anyway. But people who take the time to do a little research and reading know which side of the debate is strongest.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Well, YOU can’t argue against them because you never have any facts and don’t think they matter anyway.

        Sure I can, I just did, and I listed the facts.

        The fact that you don’t have much of a refutation for them, other than to argue insurance vs. running the actual hospital doesn’t change the fact.

        Again, please tell us

        The post office, SS and Medicare are broke. Our schools here cost more per student than they do in Europe, yet both are government run.

        Please tell us why in the world you are convinced single payer here would be the big anomaly that would buck the trend?

        That’s the argument. You want to refute it, go ahead. So far you haven’t.

    • 3H

      LOL.. so.. your basic premise seems to be: I don’t have any facts to refute yours, but I know you’re wrong and you’ll just have to accept my word for it. 

      Here’s how the argument would work if we didn’t point to the way other countries address this issue: Oh… do you have any evidence at all that your pie-in-the-sky ideas would work?  Liberals are such dreamers and can’t be bothered to come down to the real world.

      And when we do present you with evidence and facts – well.. just see above.

      Really Rupert, your philosophy appears to be: I think it, therefore it must be true.  Cogito ergo veritas?

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >LOL.. so.. your basic premise seems to be: I don’t have any facts to
        refute yours, but I know you’re wrong and you’ll just have to accept my
        word for it.

        That does seem to be Apells premise. If he had facts it would be nice, but so far I havn’t seen them.

    • Founding Fathers

      “There are endless examples of this. Europeans have a very good rail
      system. We have Amtrak. Our government cannot successfully run a
      railroad. You want to trust them with  health care?”

      In the NE, where Amtrak owns the tracks, they have a very good on-time rate.

      In most of the country, Amtrak is at the mercy of the privately-owned railroads (railroads that own the tracks because they were given them by the government).

      If we required the railroads to give passenger trains priority, Amtrak would have a much better on-time rate.

      Have you ever ridden Amtrak? It’s actually a pleasant experience, and in the NE corridor, makes more sense for most business travel than flying, because they have stations downtown.

      • David Appell

        When I lived in New Hampshire and had to go to New York City I would take Amtrak’s Acela whenever possible. It was invariably a great experience. Not only do you get to whoosh along and watch everything go by, but you can set up shop and get some good work done too. Well worth it, plus you end up right in the heart of the city. 

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >Well worth it, plus you end up right in the heart of the city.

          Except you have zero idea of what it costs do you?

          This is exactly what I am talking about. You guys like other people paying for your stuff and so long as you have a good experience thats all that matters. If the ride was good that proves something to you.

          Sorry, Amtrak has run at a loss forever and if you were actually paying the true cost of what an Amtrak ticket would cost were it not so subsidized, you probably wouldn’t feel the same way.

      • Anonymous

        I think the point of the post was not about running on time but about the efficiency of running a railroad…or any business for that matter. Given the government’s ability at running Amtrak or the Post Office (I know, I know the PO is quasi-governmental) I don’t want to trust them running my health care. I don’t want a government board determining if I can get a surgery or if I’m too old (sounds like a death panel to me) and then if they find for me making me wait months and months while I get sicker and sicker to have a medical procedure.

        • David Appell

          And do you think private insurers whose foremost concern is profits aren’t already making such decisions?

          Do you know what private insurers call money they have to pay out for care? “Medical losses.” Really.

          Administrative costs for nongovernmental health insurance are about 15% in the US. For Medicare they are 5%. 
          http://healthcarereform.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004083

          So Medicare puts about 95% of what it takes towards actual health care. Private insurers pay about 85%. Many countries with single-payer systems pay even more than does Medicare — I’ve seen numbers like 97% for some countries. In the US insurance overhead is $412/person/yr. In Canada it is $77/person/yr.
          http://healthcarereform.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004083

          So who, then, is more likely to deny you care?

          • Anonymous

            If the US follows the Canadian model…which Obozo seems to want to do…then the government is more likely to deny my care. Why do you think that Canadians who have the financial wherewithal cross the border and come to the US for surgeries and other medical procedures? It is because they have been either denied or delayed in Canada.

            As a type 2 diabetic I go to the doctor twice yearly and the eye doc quarterly, plus I regularly visit the kidney specialist and the cardiologist. The bills are submitted and my insurance pays. There’s never a question. 

            Medical losses is a workable accounting term.

          • valley dude

             The US, for better or worse (worse in my opinion) is not following the Canadian model. What Obamacare did was build on our existing, flawed, mixed system where many get insurance through work, others through government (veterans, the elderly), and tens of millions simply must go without. He patched holes rather than making serious structural changes, so that there will be fewer going without. 

            Canadians come here to avoid long lines for certain procedures, particularly hip replacements. You would have  a hard time finding a Canadian who would prefer our health care system over theirs.  Many Americans also go abroad for care, so you should factor that into your thinking.

            You are fortunate that you have good insurance that does not argue about your bills. Millions of Americans have had different experiences. With type 2 diabetes, if you did not have insurance probably through your work, you would be unable to afford to buy it on your own unless you are pretty wealthy.

          • David Appell

            Who says that Canadians cross the border for medical care? Where are you getting this information? Because this study suggests they do not in any significant numbers:
            http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/phantoms-in-the-snow

            What is your assertion based on?

          • Anonymous

            Well David, first your citation is more than ten years old. In other words, the data goes back to the early days of socialized medicine in Canada. The Incidental Economist is just a little disingenuous in his citation. How about something a little more current. Like how about this report from CBS News:

            http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/20/health/main681801.shtml?cmp=EM8705 (Dated 2/11/09 — Granted, this story is 2 1/2 years old but that’s better than ten year old data.)

            A great line from this story: ” Canada and North Korea are the only countries with laws banning the purchase of insurance for hospitalization or surgery.” Isn’t that great to be compared to North Korea? Or, maybe you think it’s okay to be in bed with North Korea?

          • Founding Fathers

            “Well David, first your citation is more than ten years old. In other
            words, the data goes back to the early days of socialized medicine in
            Canada.”

            “The early days”? I would say that 40+ years into a program is not “the early days”.

          • Founding Fathers

            “Well David, first your citation is more than ten years old. In other
            words, the data goes back to the early days of socialized medicine in
            Canada.”

            “The early days”? I would say that 40+ years into a program is not “the early days”.

          • Anonymous

            The CBS piece is an article, not a “report,” and it contains almost all anecdotes, which are useless and easy to cherry pick. My 9-yr old article is at least a study, and as neither system has undergone a major change since it still has some value.

            Besides, you were the one making the claim about all the Canadians traveling to the US for health care — the onus is on you to support that claim with statistics and data. You haven’t.

            Finally, inadequacies in the Canadian system, which many criticize for being underfunded, is hardly an argument against single-payer systems. The US ranked 37th in WHO’s last (and final) survey of health systems in 2000. Canada ranked 30th. All of the countries above us had nationalized payment systems. 

          • Anonymous

            You’re going to go clear back here now. How desperate are you to make your pointless points?

            Creating definitions in your favor doesn’t support your argument. They only show how desperate you really are.

          • Anonymous

            Oh, by the way…I didn’t respond to some of your other posts for a couple of reasons:

            1) The reply boxes have become so thin that the reply button has disappeared.
            2) I’ve grown tired of responding over and over to your same lame arguments.

          • Anonymous

            The replies still come through fine on email, regardless of how wide the boxes are on the Web page.

          • Anonymous

            Do you have any statistics to back up your claim, or not?

          • Anonymous

            Please re-read point two in the above post. My citation of the CBS/AP story was every bit as good as yours…in fact it was better since it wasn’t a decade old and out of date.

          • Anonymous

            The CBS article was all anecdotes. Do you really not understand the difference between what is claimed by specific individuals and what is found by structured studies? 

          • Anonymous

            David..I worked as a broadcast news reporter for more than 20 years. I will put my faith in a news report before I will trust any lonesome blogger who sits in his parents basement all day with only his computer for a friend.

          • Anonymous

            If you really were a reporter, then you should know how to scrutinize a news piece and how silly it is to put blind faith into what a reporter has claimed when they cite no actual facts.

            Where are your own facts and statistics? Anyone can quote a few people they interviewed — that hardly captures the big picture. You made a major claim but never gave any evidence for it.

            Ad hominem attacks are the last refuge of the incompetent (with apologies to Isaac Asimov). 

          • Anonymous

            David…it’s kind of funny how you keep ignoring the major portions of my posts and taking a sole point and thinking since you said something about it that you refuted it. Talk about ad hominem.

            Yes, I was a broadcast reporter…for more than 20 years…and as such I am completely capable of knowing what an objective report is all about. I will take a well reported story over a blog post from a sole blogger any day. 

            You keep calling my facts anecdotes, yet you have nothing but a blog post to claim as your evidence. What makes your blog post more than an anecdote? What makes up a report, other than anecdotes? You get the idea? it’s all anecdotal. 

          • Anonymous

            Then explain — in what way is the CBS article anything more than a few anecdotes?

            I linked to a study, which systematically studied a defined subset of the problem. Do you really not know the difference? You said you can’t read “dry” reports and things. How were you ever a journalist if you won’t read reports and studies?

          • Anonymous

            David…I looked at your citation. It was a blog post. My report was a balanced news story. It even gave some information that would be beneficial to your point of view. Otherwise, it recounted the experiences of several individuals in dealing with the Canadian healthcare system.

            As a journalist (note: not a jurnolist) I had to read a lot of dry reports. How do you think I learned not to like them.

            You still haven’t explained how your blog post citation amounts to more than the anecdote of a single person.

          • Anonymous

            The blog post was about, and cited, an article in the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/21/3/19.full

          • Anonymous

            Have you Googled Dr. Katz, your wonderful study’s chief author and contributor? You might want to do that before you make a big deal out of the blog post you cite.

          • David Appell

            I doubt that Canadians with type 2 diabetes are being turned away or denied by their health care system. Are they? Again you’re making unfounded assumptions and then blaming another system for a problem that exists only in your mind. Present some facts.

          • Anonymous

            I never said that type 2 diabetics in Canada are being denied or delayed in getting health care. I merely mentioned that i am a type 2 diabetic by way of saying why I go to the doctors so often. But again, look at the CBS story, those being denied healthcare number in the 1000s, probably some of those are diabetics.

          • 3H

            And 45 million in this country, according to that same article, don’t have access except through the Emergency room.   Thousands versus millions.  Now tell me our system is better.  How many poor diabetics in this country are getting the care they need?  

          • Anonymous

            Right, of course the entire population of Canada is only 33 million, so it would be kind of tough for them to come any where near close to the U.S. figure. You also seem to be forgetting that a major problem we of the conservative bent have with Obozocare is that The One is trying to force health care on all of us. Obozo wants his Utopian healthcare schema regardless of whether or not the country can afford it. Likewise he wants to force his pogrom on those of us who are perfectly happy with what we have.

          • 3H

            But per capita…  United States and Canada are still not even close.  

            I’m glad you’re happy with what you have.  I am too.  I’m willing to pay more so those that don’t have health insurance can get it.  For the record, I’m not thrilled with Obamacare either – I want single payer.  Unfortunately, what we have was the only plan that could get through Congress.  Kinda ironic all those members of Congress who are all up in arms against Obamacare sure don’t seem to mind having their healthcare paid for by us taxpayers.  How many Conservatives in Congress of have opted out?  Hypocrites – every single one of them.

          • Anonymous

            Don’t be so sure. I don’t remember now if it was the CBS article or some other that said 1,000,000 Canadians have been denied or delayed in getting their healthcare…that’s about three and a half percent of the population  While the population of the US without health insurance (this isn’t an apples to apples comparison) runs about 12 percent. But that number includes many people who for several reasons, chief among them their young age,don’t want to own health insurance. So, when you delete the health insurance opt-outs the percentage of uninsured Americans (US residents) and denied Canadians becomes much closer.

          • 3H

            You said thousands… now you’re increasing it to a million.  Which is it?

          • Anonymous

            A million is a thousand thousand last time I checked. One million is a lot of thousands

          • 3H

            When people say thousands, and perhaps you do need a quick lesson in style, they generally mean anywhere up to 99,000.   Over 99,000 becomes hundres of thousands.  And when people mean a million, they say a million and not pretend that they were talking about a thousand thousands because that is simply ridiculous.   You got caught, as you so pithily put it, pulling facts out of your butt and then you get all pissy when called on it.  

          • 3H

            The article didn’t mention a number for people denied health care – the article said that something like a million Canadians are on waiting lists (and we don’t know for what) – waiting for treatment, and being denied treatment are two very different things.

          • Anonymous

            But some waits might as well be denials. People suffer enormous pain and even die while waiting months and even years to get treatment. You’re grasping at straws here.

          • 3H

            So.. of all the people waiting how long are the ones in serious pain waiting?   Are they being denied even prescription medications  to control their pain?   You don’t know do you?  You saw a number and then made up a whole set of “facts” around it.   You should get a job in talk radio – making up stuff is a bonus and gets you higher ratings.

          • 3H

            So.. of all the people waiting how long are the ones in serious pain waiting?   Are they being denied even prescription medications  to control their pain?   You don’t know do you?  You saw a number and then made up a whole set of “facts” around it.   You should get a job in talk radio – making up stuff is a bonus and gets you higher ratings.

          • 3H

            The article didn’t mention a number for people denied health care – the article said that something like a million Canadians are on waiting lists (and we don’t know for what) – waiting for treatment, and being denied treatment are two very different things.

          • Founding Fathers

            “I don’t remember now if it was the CBS article or some other that said
            1,000,000 Canadians have been denied or delayed in getting their
            healthcare”

            In other words “I vaguely remember something I read or heard somewhere, so you should take it as the gospel truth.”

            Uh, no.

          • Anonymous

            Not what I said. There was nothing vague about my memory other than that I couldn’t remember exactly where I’d read it. I distinctly remembered reading the number, as 3H pointed out in another reply. I read a lot of different things and it is sometimes difficult to remember exactly where I read something.

            So as usual, you’re full of crap. Go back to reading Talking Points Memo and Blue Oregon where they will twist the facts to back up what you believe.

          • Founding Fathers

            Joel, if you can’t remember where you read or saw it, why should we believe the number that you think you remember?

            If I vaguely remember something, I tend to look it up. Try it some time.

          • Anonymous

            So, you’re accusing me of pulling the one million number out of my butt or something. Just go back to reading Talking Points Memo and Media Matters…they won’t confuse you with these little things called facts.

          • 3H

            Yes I am – because the source you cited didn’t say that.  

            Which facts are those Joel?  The ones you claim to know but can’t provide a real citation to?  You sound a little peeved that I actually called your bluff. 

            Or, which facts do I believe?  Especially when they shift and thousands becomes millions?

            It’s not my fault that you make stuff up and are then held accountable.

          • Anonymous

            5 responses to my last post and I seem a little peeved. Talks about pots and kettles.

          • 3H

            LOL… the number of responses does not equate to being peeved.  Trust me, I’m more amused than peeved.  You, however, seem to get all pissy when I don’t take your word for your claim of millions (which used to be thousands) denied care, which then becomes denied care or having to wait.   

          • Founding Fathers

            “I don’t remember now if it was the CBS article or some other that said
            1,000,000 Canadians have been denied or delayed in getting their
            healthcare”

            In other words “I vaguely remember something I read or heard somewhere, so you should take it as the gospel truth.”

            Uh, no.

          • Anonymous

            Remembrances aren’t facts. The plural of anecdote is not data. Do you have any actual facts?

            It’s easy to disparage something when you get to make up your own facts about it. Which, so far, is all I have seen you doing.

          • Anonymous

            So, David, have you decided to become a troll? I know it hurts to have your “facts” shot down. If you don’t like it, post something besides ancient data.

            As discussed above, I made up no facts. Rather I quoted a CBS file of an AP story. Neither CBS nor AP, by the way, are conservative sources.

          • 3H

            And now you’ve changed it to delayed care.  Not just denied care.   Just keep making it up as you go along Joel.  You should take up writing fiction.

          • Anonymous

            If you look you’ll see that I consistently said delayed or denied…I know I’m not up to MMFA or BO standards but you really need to read things a little more closely.

          • 3H

            Actually, you’re right.. you have.  My apologies.   Your numbers, however, did change.

            How many people have been denied care in Canada?  How does that compare to the United States?  

          • Anonymous

            So, that makes three times you haven’t read something correctly. I really have to start wondering.

            And I didn’t get the numbers wrong. Just because I don’t adhere to your particular definition of what is and isn’t thousands doesn’t make me wrong. A million quite clearly encompasses thousands.

            Dictionary.com defines thousands as  “the numbers between 1000 and 999,999,”  so do you really want to quibble over a measly quantity of one.

          • 3H

            LOL.. just can’t admit when you’re wrong can you.  That’s cool.

          • Anonymous

            Let’s see…you defined thousands as being up to 99,999 and then it became hundred thousands. I defined a million as including thousands. 999,999 is clearly thousands. So, I missed it by one and you missed it by 9000,000. Next creative argument. This is just too easy.

          • Anonymous

            “Millions” does not include “thousands,” no matter how many semantic games you play.  

          • Anonymous

            And I say you are wrong. Looks like we’ve reached an impasse. So, unless you want to give in — like Obozo wants the Rs to cave on the debt ceiling — I guess we’ve finished with this subject.

          • Anonymous

            If someone suggested he’d pay you “in the millions,” and then delivered a check for $3000, would you feel deceived?

          • 3H

            And now you’ve changed it to delayed care.  Not just denied care.   Just keep making it up as you go along Joel.  You should take up writing fiction.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Hypocrites – every single one of them.

            Then could we please see some receipts from you for donations to various medical charities?

            You said you are willing to pay more so others who could not afford medical care could get it. I doubt very much you have a single “St. Jude’s” receipt lying around there. I would be stunned if you could produce any yearly record showing every month you pay some amount towards indigent medical care. Yet you say you would be happy to do just that.

          • 3H

            You missed the point – deliberately I assume.

            I’m willing to pay more in taxes to help others get better access to health care.  Not good enough for you?  Too bad.

            So, you don’t think it’s hypocritical for members of Congress to talk about tough choices, letting the market do it’s magic, etc… while still having taxpayer funded health care of their own?  Why don’t they opt out if they feel that strongly about it?  They do make enough to by their own insurance.

            Oh, does volunteer work count?   

          • Anonymous

            > trying to force health care on all of us.

            Many Republicans, notably Romney, Gingrich, have also advocated an insurance mandate, because it is one way to control costs. 
            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/27/republicans-hatched-idea-obamas-health-insurance-mandate/

            A third of medical costs for the uninsured are uncompensated — govt pays for most of that.
            http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/The-Cost-of-Care-for-the-Uninsured-What-Do-We-Spend-Who-Pays-and-What-Would-Full-Coverage-Add-to-Medical-Spending.pdf

            The rest comes from higher premiums for the insured, or higher medical costs for the insured (so hospitals can make up the difference).

          • Anonymous

            So now we know why I support neither Romney nor Gingrich, actually there are a lot of reasons but for now this one will do.

            And, this is exactly my point. It isn’t the government’s job or responsibility to be paying for health care. Now, if you want to talk about the ridiculously high cost of health care, that’s something else. For instance vision care used to be reasonably priced until the unions came up with the idea of forcing employers to provide vision insurance. Now, it costs $120 to get an eye exam…which, of course, is charged to the insurance company.

            The space for replies is getting to be much too narrow, not to mention the tag team argument with four of five of you Obozo toadys is getting tiresome. So, I’m out.

          • Founding Fathers

             Joel, the “Obozo” thing shows that you’re not interested in an actual conversation. It gets old very quickly.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah right FF. It was okay to call Bush much worse  (Hitler, little mustaches drawn on his picture) but how dare I call Obama Obozo. Would you prefer I call him the Jerk in Chief, it’s really much more apropos. 

            Pretty lame argument. You can’t get me for what I say, so attack me for how I say it. Lame…just lame.

          • Founding Fathers

            I didn’t call Bush Hitler, and I’ve not put Hitler mustaches on him.

            By the way, YOUR side has been putting Hitler mustaches on Obama.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, maybe you never called Bush Hitler…but you never called any of your folk on it either…did you?

          • 3H

            How many of your people have you chastised for equating Obama with Hitler?

          • Anonymous

            None. I draw the mustaches.

          • Founding Fathers

            I didn’t call Bush Hitler, and I’ve not put Hitler mustaches on him.

            By the way, YOUR side has been putting Hitler mustaches on Obama.

          • Anonymous

            > Would you prefer I call him the Jerk in Chief, it’s really much more apropos.

            How about simply making your arguments with some dignity, and respect for others?

          • Anonymous

            If Obozo deserved to be treated with dignity and respect, that’s the way I’d treat him. But he deserves neither dignity nor respect. Obozo is totally unqualified to hold the offie. Biden is, in fact, far more qualified as are McCain and even Palin. Obozo started running for president when he was elected to the Illinois state legislature and never stopped. I’m not one to claim that Obozo isn’t qualified by birth but I will say he is totally lacking in bona fides.

            David, we’re lucky that John Edwards crashed and burned because as a good liberal you would be making excuses for him as well. There are usually candidates who don’t deserve to be president, Barack Obama leads that pack. Bill Clinton, though I often disagreed with him, was generally a good president. Other than liking women, not his wife, to toot his whistle in the Oval Office, Clinton was a good leader.

            Obozo shows absolutely no leadership qualities and is the worst president of my lifetime and since Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson are in there, that’s saying a lot.

          • Anonymous

            The dignity I was hoping for was yours, not Obama’s.

            Obama was legally elected to his office by a majority of Americans, and that is all the bona fides any president needs. 

            Perhaps you think that a failure to show respect for those you disagree with defeats their arguments, but many people think instead that it automatically defeats yours.

          • Anonymous

            David…my posts are in the greatest tradition of American politics. I think it is really a matter of whose ox is being gored (This has nothing to do with Al Gore.) Conservatives think it is funny to call Obozo names. Liberals think it is funny to call conservatives names…witness Sean Insanity, Rush Limblah, etc., etc.

          • Anonymous

            I have never heard either of those names for Hannity or Limbaugh.

            Calling people names will only get you dismissed as not to be taken seriously.

          • Anonymous

            Then you are not paying attention.

          • Anonymous

            No–I pay very close attention. I’ve heard other names for Limbaugh, as least, but I think that name-calling, too, is equally as undignified, disrespectful, and immature.

          • David Appell

            By the way, in 2004 the founder of the today’s Canadian health system, Tommy Douglas, was voted by Canadians as the greatest Canadian of all time.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greatest_Canadian

          • Anonymous

            Whoop=dee-doo!

          • Rupert in Springfield

            FDR is still considered a great president as well. Not exactly tough to get called great when you are giving away other peoples money.

          • 3H

            I know.. imagine.. trying to give old people some sort of safety net.   

            What would you do Rupert?  No government involvement?  If you get sick, or poor, too bad?  You should have had better luck in life?   

          • Anonymous

            FDR is considered great not because he gave away other people’s money — all presidents and all politicians do that, in one manner or another — but because he had a great concern for the weak, the ill, the elderly, the exploited, and the unfortunate, and he joined the fight for a country whose government addressed those concerns.

          • David Appell

            By the way, in 2004 the founder of the today’s Canadian health system, Tommy Douglas, was voted by Canadians as the greatest Canadian of all time.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greatest_Canadian

          • David Appell

            Joel: What would you do if tomorrow you lost your insurance?

          • Anonymous

            Well, David, I don’t think that is going to happen. To begin with, I’m privately insured (self employed, one man shop) so I don’t have to worry about an employer deciding insurance isn’t worth it. Yes, since I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes my insurance costs have gone up but then so have my health care costs. Plus, Obama promised that if I wanted I could keep my health care as is…so, I’m hoping that he’s good to his word.

          • just doing the math

            However, if you have an individual plan, like I do, your insurer could
            cancel your plan as long as it canceled all other like plans. You still
            could lose your insurance.

          • Anonymous

            But the strange thing is, my insurer is in it to make money. Given the amount I pay for my insurance, I doubt they’ll cancel my type of policy. If wishes were fishes, you know…

          • valley dude

            Keep dreaming. The minute you start costing them more than you are paying you are at risk of being booted, as has happened to many others.  If you had this disease before you had purchased insurance, you would be in a very high risk pool or would simply be denied. If you are in the individual market you are on a very thin limb. I hope for your sake you do not have to learn the hard way.

          • 3H

            Do you take out more in benefits than you pay for your insurance premiums?   If you do, you’re making other policy holders for your care.   The insurance company spreads out the cost of YOUR care over everyone’s policy.  Why should I pay more for my policy because you’re sick?   It’s not my problem of you have type 2 diabetes.   Suck it up and pay for your own care, don’t take money out of my pocket for your bad genetics?   Doesn’t seem fair, does it?   Are you OK making other people pay for your illness?

            Maybe we should just set up accounts… pay in while healthy, take out when you’re sick.  And if you run out of money, well, too bad for you.

          • Anonymous

            My oh my, talk about proving my case. You don’t get it do you? This is exactly what Obozo wants to do. He wants to force people who don’t feel they need health insurance, or just prefer to take their chances, to buy insurance to spread the wealth. The point is that no one should be forced to have health insurance.

            I went for years without health insurance. I was, admittedly, lucky because I got the insurance just before my diabetes diagnosis…although I had the disease undiagnosed for several years before diagnosis. I just paid for my medical care out of pocket. (OK, when I was married I was covered by policies from my wife’s employer but I haven’t been married for 20+ years.)

            So, do I take out more in benefits than I pay in. I’d say, at the end of the year, it comes out just about even. Some quarters I make money, some quarters I pay. For instance, last quarter I had appointments with the kidney specialist, the cardiologist and the ophthalmologist. This quarter my only appointment is with my internist. Since I pay several hundred dollars a month for insurance, it comes out pretty evenly. So, I’m not costing anybody anything.

            Sorry, another argument goes down the toilet.  

          • Founding Fathers

            “I went for years without health insurance. I was, admittedly, lucky
            because I got the insurance just before my diabetes
            diagnosis…although I had the disease undiagnosed for several years
            before diagnosis.”

            Damn lucky, actually. You probably could have been denied, because you did have a pre-existing condition.

            It’s a pretty good bet, actually, that you are getting far more care than you pay for, when averaged over a year. And as you get older, with your condition, odds are that your medical expenses will go up and up and up.

            Of course, “Obamacare” will prevent your insurance company from suddenly canceling your insurance, so you should be grateful. Instead, you rail against a law that’s going to help you.

          • Anonymous

            No. It’s actually a pretty good bet that it is a wash or that I pay a bit more than I consume.

          • Anonymous

            Almost everyone’s medical costs go up as they age, and with a disease like diabetes yours will be even less likely to be an exception to that trend. Perhaps right now, this year, your premium is more than your insurer’s costs (though again this simply an assertion, and we’ve seen what your assertions are made of), but it will not be so all years. At any point you could suffer a new and serious problem that will cause your insurer to drop you as a customer. What will you do then? 

          • Anonymous

            Point one: The question was about where things stand today…not whee they will be in the future. My plan is to be self insured, so the question is moot in any case.

            Point two: Assertions.My information comes from the liberal CBS News and is a couple of years old. Yours comes from a liberal blog and is more than ten years old. Whose assertions are better. Your information is old and comes from a blog with a point of view. ‘Nuff said.

          • Anonymous

            You keep assuming that someone will sell you insurance. That is hardly guaranteed. As soon as you have a big problem they will drop you or raise your premiums to absurd levels.

            In any case premium individuals for individuals are running at several times the rate of inflation. Premiums for even those in corporate pools doubled in the last 10 years. For how many more decades can they double until no employer can afford them? At current rates it will cost $40K/yr to insure a family of 4 in 2020.

            Do you care at all about those who can’t afford the insurance they need? Or who can’t buy it at any price? Or you have yours, so the hell with everyone else?
             

          • Anonymous

            David, you are changing the subject. I say again…1) we were talking about the present not some speculative future. 2) Your data was out of date.

            As for those who can’t afford the insurance: Medical care is not a right. Now make your whiny,liberal “But what about all the people who can’t afford insurance” argument again. You can probably make it a couple of more times before it becomes tiring.

          • Anonymous

            It is not “whiny” to ask how those unable to purchase insurance are to obtain medical care. It’s an important, fundamental question if you care about anyone other than yourself and if you care what kind of country and society you live in. I am beginning to see that you clearly do not care about these things. 

            It’s very relevant to ask where you would get your care if your insurer someday declines to keep you as a customer or your premiums raise above the level you can afford. And you keep refusing to answer it. 

          • Anonymous

            There are a great many things our government provides that are not “rights,” many of which you benefit from — don’t make me list them. The constitution calls for the U.S. to “promote the general welfare,” and medical care for all citizens clearly does that. It is also the moral thing to do, as well as the Christian thing to do.

            Joel, you are a shining example of why many people believe that selfishness is the driving force behind all conservative political philosophies.

          • Founding Fathers

            “Or you have yours, so the hell with everyone else?”

            It looks like you have your answer:

            “As for those who can’t afford the insurance: Medical care is not a right.”

            Why should self-centered people like Joel have any say in public policy?

          • 3H

            Tell you what.. lets make it fair.  Everyone who wants to opt out of Obamacare gets to.  But.. we also make it against the law that those people who opt out – have to have cash up front or they can’t even get in the door of the Emergency room.  No medical service unless they have money.  And..  we take off all governmental restrictions on insurance companies – you want to roll the dice and keep government out of market decisions – then go for it.   However, no appeal if your insurance company drops you when you get too expensive. OK?  

          • Anonymous

            That’s totally fair…Oops,fooled you didn’t I. You never expected me to take you up on your idea. But, you see, that’s the difference between us. While you roll around deliriously in the prospect of the government supporting you, I would rather the government get out of my life entirely. In fact, I’m planning to be self insured again in just a couple of years. I’m getting close to Medicare age and I don’t want to be on the dole.

            The problem is that your plan leaves me…and my not insignificant tax dollars…paying for your health care. So, I guess I don’t like your plan…unless everyone opts-out. I just can’t support a nanny state.

          • Anonymous

            Right now everyone, including the uninsured, is subsidizing your care, Joel, by the tax deductions the govt offers for those who buy insurance privately (or whose corporations buy it for their workers). You are already benefiting from government.

          • Anonymous

            Total BS. You’ll have to do better than this pointless ranting. Methinks you are starting to lose it.

          • Anonymous

            It is not BS. As of 2010 the self-employed now get to deduct 15.3% of their health insurance premiums. The National Association for the Self-Employed estimates this new law will save self-employed business owners $456 – $968 in taxes. That’s substantial. It’s tax money that has to be made up by higher taxes on other people, some of whom are uninsured, or it gets piled onto the federal debt for children to someday pay.

            That’s a significant benefit you’re getting.

          • Anonymous

            What would you do tomorrow if you lost your insurance? You could have a heart attack this afternoon, or discover a lump that is cancerous. What will your insurance company charge you after that? 

            You could break a leg and have no income for months. Your insurance company could raise your rates 25% next year, putting it above your reach. Your private insurance could well cost 100% more in a mere five years, 200% more in 10. What will you do then?So again, what would you do if tomorrow you lost your insurance?

          • Anonymous

            Or I could get run over by a MAX train. There are certain risks in life. 

            You and Obozo want to take all the risks out of life and make the insurance companies make big payments for healthcare for little premiums. Life doesn’t work that way. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. If Obozo succeeds in taking all the risk out of life, what he will actually do is put another nail in this great country’s coffin. Actually, I think that’s what he wants. He wants America to be just like any old European Socialist country.

          • 3H

            Some risks are more preventable than others.   I can avoid the train track, look both ways before crossing, etc..   I can even avoid some illnesses – but not all.  Some might be genetic or environmental and I can’t avoid them.   Nice try, but terrible example.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, you tell that to people who have been hit by MAX trains…sometimes people just lose their footing and fall in front of the train…but they could have prevented that if they’d only been paying better attention. 

            How about I could get run over by a car while I’m out for my daily walk? Now, I walk because my doctor told me it would be good for my health. But it wouldn’t be too good for my health if I got run down by an errant motorist. Or would that be somehow preventable…my fault?

            Beeeeeeeeeeeep!!! Nice try but terrible response.

          • 3H

            Getting hit by a train is not the same thing as getting sick.  I don’t know how much more clear I can be.  Your MAX example is just silly.   

            And if you get hit by a driver, through no fault of your own, you go to the hospital and get treated.  You can sue the driver.   In fact, it is required to have insurance if you drive a car on public streets, and that insurance company will pay your medical bills (not that all do.. but most have basic coverage)  There are mechanisms in place to address that issue.  LOL.. your example proves my point.  Thank you.  

          • Anonymous

            Oh geez, you’re really going to toss out that old chestnut about insurance being required to drive a car.

            OK fine, I’ll just give you the time honored response. Insurance is required to drive a car because driving is a privilege. I know this is hard for the Obamacare Corps to understand but it really is that simple.

          • 3H

            You were the wrong trying to bring up getting hit by cars or MAX and compare them to health care insurance.   Complain to yourself.     Keep talking in circles.. sooner or later you’ll get dizzy and fall down. 

          • Anonymous

            Damn, that’s the best you can do. Keep setting ’em up and I’ll keep knocking ’em out of the park. If you’re going to make stupid arguments like that one, well this ceases to be fun.

          • 3H

            Oh my..   no, I don’t need my best for you  😉

        • Rupert in Springfield

          Oh my God – Someone with an actual brain!

          Thank you! I cannot believe its been boob after boob thinking their having a good riding experience proves the governments ability to run a railroad.

          • valley dude

            So we are all boobs, but it is liberals who call people stupid? You are a piece of work Rupert, I’ll grant you that much. 

      • Rupert in Springfield

        Oh God lord – You seriously aren’t saying this are you?

        First of all, please, don’t be an idiot, Amtrak has run at a loss forever. That’s what we are talking about here, not how pleasant the ride experience is or the on time rate.

        Second of all, please don’t preach to me about the NE corridor or how great government is about maintaining tracks. I was raised in NYC and went to school in Boston so I probably have way more familiarity riding Amtrak than most.

  • Founding Fathers

    They’re still spending just a little more than half per capita what we’re spending in the U.S.

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0934556.html

    If my rent is $500 and it increases by 20%, it goes up $100. If my rent is $1000 and increases by 20%, it goes up by $200. Even though the percentage increases are the same, the amounts are quite different.

    So, even though the percentage increase in the cost of Canadian healthcare may have been about the same as in the U.S., the amount is only a little more than half.

    Nice try, though.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      And they still spend less per pupil in Europe on education and get better results.

      Are you also advocating for decreasing per pupil public school expenditures?

      Id say nice try, but it really isn’t. The “they spend less/better care” argument is so easily run off the rails with this one simple comparison.

      However you do earn a “better luck next time” so its not a total loss. Just think it through a bit more.

      • Founding Fathers

        Deflecting again.

        Unless you link to data about education spending, I’m not going to respond to that–it’s not relevant.

        Again, they’re spending about half what we do here. 15 years ago, they were also spending about half what we do here. So, they’re spending has increased at the same rate, but the AMOUNT of spending has increased in the US by double what it’s increased in Canada.

      • valley dude

        According to the OECD, the US spends less as a % of GDP per pupil on public education than does, Finland, Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria , Belgium, Denmark and France among others (2005 data).

        But spending less and getting better results would be fine wouldn’t it? Who would complain about that? The Europeans all do this on health care, compared with us.

  • just doing the math

    “Unfortunately, many Americans have relied on liberal politicians for their
    information, and nothing but higher costs and lower quality medical care
    will be the inevitable result.”
     
    Um, we are getting lower quality health care at a higher cost, just by virtue of the
    unaffordablity of health care in the US, which drives people out of the market
    and into the really expensive emergency room when they get sick. As a doctor
    at ST Vincent’s you should know this, because I assume you have been down to
    your very busy emergency department.

     “If we really want costs to decrease while maintaining quality health care,
     we need real free market reform….”

    I guess to semi quote Sarah Palin, “How is that free market reform workin’
    for ya”? It has not worked in health care. Health is not the same as purchasing
    a car, house or other thing, where there is time to compare prices and if
    you cannot afford, you don’t buy. If you are ill, and do not have the
    money or insurance, options are limited. You can delay treatment and
    hope the illness goes away, but that delay could result in a worsening of
    something that may have been easily treatable had you been insured. Or,
    you can wait until the illness requres a trip to the emergency room, and
    that expensive care drives up health care costs for everyone. So much for
    the free market driving down costs.

    Having a health care system that allows access to care for all citizens is
    just the right thing to do. Other countries have figured this out.

    Are we not worth it?

  • just doing the math

    “Unfortunately, many Americans have relied on liberal politicians for their
    information, and nothing but higher costs and lower quality medical care
    will be the inevitable result.”
     
    Um, we are getting lower quality health care at a higher cost, just by virtue of the
    unaffordablity of health care in the US, which drives people out of the market
    and into the really expensive emergency room when they get sick. As a doctor
    at ST Vincent’s you should know this, because I assume you have been down to
    your very busy emergency department.

     “If we really want costs to decrease while maintaining quality health care,
     we need real free market reform….”

    I guess to semi quote Sarah Palin, “How is that free market reform workin’
    for ya”? It has not worked in health care. Health is not the same as purchasing
    a car, house or other thing, where there is time to compare prices and if
    you cannot afford, you don’t buy. If you are ill, and do not have the
    money or insurance, options are limited. You can delay treatment and
    hope the illness goes away, but that delay could result in a worsening of
    something that may have been easily treatable had you been insured. Or,
    you can wait until the illness requres a trip to the emergency room, and
    that expensive care drives up health care costs for everyone. So much for
    the free market driving down costs.

    Having a health care system that allows access to care for all citizens is
    just the right thing to do. Other countries have figured this out.

    Are we not worth it?

  • Anonymous

    When did Oregon Catalyst become home to the trolls. The keep playing the game like they think Obozo is right. We don’t have the facts but, by God, we’ll shout you down.

    • Founding Fathers

      Actually, Joe, if you read carefully, you’ll notice that the liberals who comment here tend to base their arguments on actual facts, while the conservatives don’t. For example, read my post about why the premise of the original post is flawed.

      • Anonymous

        Firstly, It’s Joel not Joe. Learn to read.

        Secondly, I did read your replies. It was specifically your replies that prompted my comment about shouting down the opposition. You will never get the facts by following Talking Points Memo, Media Matters or Blue Oregon.

        Lastly, do you know what a troll is. Look in the mirror.

        • David Appell

          I don’t think anyone here thinks facts come from places like TPM or MM per se. They come from primary sources like reports, studies, peer-reviewed papers, encyclopedias, nonpartisan organizations, etc. TPM, MM, newspapers, magazines, etc usually credit such sources for their claims. Even then such claims need to be scrutinized, but to argue completely without them is unconvincing and pointless.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, I have noticed that you draw your conclusions frpm sources other than TPM, MM and BO (Why didn’t you abbreviate Blue Oregon?) You draw your conclusions incorrectly but nonetheless you draw them from legitimate sources…so congratulations there.

            Founding Fathers, on the other hand, clearly is getting his information and developing his opinions by perusing the likes of TPM, MM and BO…among others. I could respond to him by quoting Michelle Malkin, Red State and Hot Air but, alas, I read none of them. I get my information from NY Times, WaPo and Politico in the main.  Frankly I find reports, studies, peer-reviewed papers, encyclopedias, nonpartisan organizations, etc. to be rather dry and tough reads.

          • David Appell

            “Incorrectly?” 

            So your, and only your, conclusions are correct?

          • David Appell

            “Incorrectly?” 

            So your, and only your, conclusions are correct?

          • David Appell

            “Incorrectly?” 

            So your, and only your, conclusions are correct?

          • Anonymous

            Okay, I could have written “incorrectly, in my opinion,” but I thought that “in my opinion” was implied.

          • David Appell

            “Incorrectly?” 

            So your, and only your, conclusions are correct?

          • David Appell

            And what does “correct” mean, anyway?

          • Rupert in Springfield

            It means, when we see government run our schools here, as well as they do in Europe, maybe we would be more inclined to accept the idea of importing European (or Canadian) models here.

            It means, when it is pointed out to you that the government here can’t even run a train and your reply is that you had a great ride on it so therefore government can run a train, then you are probably not to be taken too seriously in your argument.

            If you guys for once would simply argue the point rather than try and deflect it would be refreshing.

            That point being – there are plenty of examples of government programs in Europe that work well, where the same program here does not. Public Education is the big elephant in the room on that one.

            Therefore the argument “works in Europe” has no logical basis for implying “works here”. There are simply too many examples of the converse being true for one to draw such a conclusion.

            That’s the single biggest hurdle you guys need to overcome.

            If you want to try be my guest.
             

          • valley dude

            You are arguing we should be more like Europe? Well knock me over with a feather. 

          • 3H

            So you are arguing that Europe and Canada, have a more efficient government than the United States?  Don’t let the people who believe in American Exceptionalism hear you.

            So pretty much we’re screwed – the Government can’t run anything right and evidently, if you take Enron as an example, neither can the free market. 

          • Anonymous

            One reason govt-run systems work better in Europe is that Europeans generally believe that government can be a force for good and play a valuable role in improving people’s lives. So they take it seriously and don’t demonize it or resent it or blame it for everything wrong in their life as do so many Americans. They fund their programs adequately in order to build quality systems. So it’s no surprise such govt-run systems work — their values make it so.

          • Founding Fathers

            Okay, Joel (sorry, eyes somehow missed the “l”),

            I rarely read TPM or MM. I read BO fairly regularly, but rarely use them as a source when responding here. I don’t always link to my source, but often I do. I don’t recall ever linking to a BO article here, and I doubt that I would. I try to cite from primary sources as often as possible.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        This coming from the guy who thought Operation Fast and Furious was something Lars Larson made up, and had no clue the ATF director had been in congressional testimony over the scandal.

        Please, the “facts” thing is a little silly.

        If you want to come back with something a little better thought out than “works in Europe, cheaper there, better care” then Im sure some will consider you more than a troll, at least on that topic. However if thats all you got, its not a whole hell of a lot. Not when there are endless examples of things that work there but don’t work so well over here.

        You know though, I can think of another way you can be “non troll”

        If you are actually consistent, and argue for spending less per pupil on public education, just as you want with health care, that might give you some credibility. After all, they spend less per pupil on education in Europe, and get better results, and its a way better comparison, both are government run!

        • Anonymous

          It is not only in Europe that single-payer health systems are cheaper and provide better care, it is all over the world. It is everywhere it has been implemented. There is a good reason for that — health care is simply incompatible with a free market system. It is not like buying shoes, for several reasons, and it never will be. Trying to stuff it into that box has failed and will continue to fail — the only question is how many Americans will suffer needlessly until the day it is enacted here. 

  • Anonymous

    When did Oregon Catalyst become home to the trolls. The keep playing the game like they think Obozo is right. We don’t have the facts but, by God, we’ll shout you down.

  • Greg Skomaroske

    Most peoples common sense tells them that if we can’t afford $700-$2000 [or even more] per hour for a doctors appointment, then that would mean there is no market for that kind of business or service in any particular area/country/town…not even here in America!! I suggest that if the doctors and the health care providers want to charge that much per hour for their services, that we should simply tell them to move to a different country where they can be paid better than they will ever be paid here!! IT IS THAT SIMPLE!!!

  • Gregskomaroske

    i think our government is defrauding the people out of their tax dollars through programs like medicare and social security. i have watch doctors here in the United States, state of Wisconsin over charge Medicare to bring dollars into our state when it was more broke than normal and yet not even one return phone call back from the medicare fraud hot line!! hhmmmm i tell you, they are taking medicare dollars out of everyones checks and it is being mis-spent and defrauded out of the government!! when no one does anything about fraud in our government, i have to say that it is probably meant to work like this! what a shame for our country as a whole to have such corrupted persons running our government and the court systems!

  • Tim Lyman

    The usual lame arguments from the usual unemployed lefty blowhards with nothing better to do than pollute this blog all day, every day.  

    What do these usual suspects have in common?  Not one of them has ever experienced Canadian health care first hand.  Ignorance, of course, has never kept any lefty from pontificating.

    I lived in Canada for 15 years.  I’ve got family who are still there.  I know the Canadian health care system first hand.  It is a disaster.  It kills people.  It almost bankrupted the country before they stripped the benefits and implemented – wait for it – death panels in the 1990s (of course, they don’t call them that, it’s an “expert advisory committee”).  The article I wrote here three years ago is still relevant and accurate. 

    http://oregoncatalyst.com/2412-Socialized-Medicine-Redux.html

    • just doing the math

      “…wait for it – death panels in the 1990s (of course, they don’t call them that,
      it’s an “expert advisory committee”).”

      So, my question to this statement, is, what are your solutions? The “free
      market” in health care is not working in the US. Just ask some of the 8.7
      million members of the Kaiser system, such as myself. There are “embedded
      death panels” within that system. There is a delay, deny and hope you
      die mentality within that system as well as other HMO’S. (personal
      experience). And how about the 50+ million without insurance?
       
      Like I have commented in other posts, the US does not have to re-invent
      the wheel. There are other universal health care models in the world that
      the US can look at and utilized or adapt features of those systems that are
      successful.

      However, name calling, which I have noticed seems to be the tactic
      employed on this site when there is constructive disagreement with
      the conservative point of view, accomplishes absolutely nothing. 

    • valley person

      How do you know no one else but you has experienced the Canadian health care system first hand? And don’t you think the US health care system “kills people?”  

      And does your personal experience negate objective data?

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