Canadian and U.S. healthcare – a debate

I can never resist a good debate, especially when politics is involved. Recently I had the opportunity to debate Canadian versus American healthcare on Facebook. It was short-lived. I guess the person whose Facebook page it was decided they didn’t want the debate there! EAVB_YHQVSKDEAR

No problem. I’ll continue the debate here. I don’t have the original comment about Canadian healthcare, which I don’t remember being particularly negative, or my comment, but I do have the comment I’ll be responding to. Thank you, Facebook, for emailing responses to me.

Here’s the comment (verbatim):

And i’m sorry Alain….you have absolutely no idea what your talking about. Those so called greedy corporations that your mocking…just so happen to be the reason that the U.S. has become the super power that it is. It’s called “free market”. And no thanks to these liberal jack offs in our govt they are ruining what we have spent 200+ years building and defending.

You really wanna get in a debate with me over socialized heath care? Let me tell you a little something about your perfect system.

Do you have any idea how many other countries come to the united states for health care??? You don’t see Americans flocking to Europe or Mexico for heath care do you? Hmmmm i wonder why. Also…do you have any idea where most of the drugs and health treatments come from in the world??? They sure as hell don’t come from Japan. Germany. France. etc. They come from HERE. So educate yourself before you mock my country sir. Here’s just a tidbit on how messed up socialized health care is.

1.In socialized medical systems, the doctors work directly for the state. In Canada (and many other countries with universal care), doctors can run their own private practices, just like they do in the US. The only difference is that every doctor deals with one insurer, instead of 150. And that insurer is the provincial government, which is accountable to the legislature and the voters if the quality of coverage is allowed to slide. which means they control every aspect of your health because your on a federal file….

2.Doctors are hurt financially by single-payer health care. Because they don’t make crap compared to those “evil” american greedy doctors who’s only goal is to take your money. Funny thing is… unlike your “lotto” system when your govt runs outta money to fund your health care. They take whoever no matter who is sicker or not. Ours have the best interest in keeping you alive because if your dead….they don’t get paid!!!

3.You have to wait forever to get a family doctor. where i can choose from any list of private health care providers.

4.Wait times in Canada are horrendous… and on…and on…and on…and on….

So, Trevor, while I don’t have my original comment to refer to, what I do know is that I never claimed the healthcare system in Canada is perfect, but I prefer it to the US system. I readily admit that it’s not perfect.

I also was not mocking the US system, but criticizing it. The US healthcare system is definitely worthy of criticism. How is it that what is arguably the wealthiest country on earth cannot have healthcare for all of its citizens? How many are left out? 10 million? 30 million? Estimates vary, and I’m talking about US citizens, not illegal immigrants.

Even for those who do have healthcare, if you’ve got a health condition under one insurer, you may not have that condition covered if you were to move jobs or try to get a different healthcare provider because it’s a “pre-existing condition” with the new insurer. It effectively turns patients into slaves of those healthcare providers and potentially your employer.

If your health condition was sufficiently serious, you’d be crazy to change jobs, at the risk of your health care coverage ceasing in relation to that condition. How is this considered ethical or just? Is this the kind of society we want? I don’t.

From an economic perspective, it certainly limits labour mobility. That’s not a bad thing from a company perspective, I guess, but not an employee perspective. I can’t imagine an unhealthy employee is going to be particularly productive either.

Also, health care coverage in the US, from what I understand, can also be limited, as you’re saying apparently happens in Canada. I understand that in the US, health care companies routinely decide which procedures will be covered and which won’t. If there’s not a likely positive outcome or it’s not included in your policy, etc, it’s not covered. I’ve also heard of many cases where people had their coverage dropped completely.

That’s a superior system alright. Your coverage gets dropped when you actually need it most.

People say that in Canada bureaucrats decide on treatment, which actually isn’t true. Your doctor decides on the appropriate treatment, and yes, you may need to wait in line. Waiting lists in Canada are a problem that our governments are working on. How successful are they? Jury’s out on that right now. If cases are serious enough, they can be moved up quickly though.

Contrast this with the US where, in my opinion, it’s actually worse. Your case may not be decided by a government bureaucrat, but a corporate one! Brain tumours can’t be a profitable thing, so I can see why companies would routinely deny people coverage for serious medical procedures. After all, if you deny many of the most serious procedures, the shareholders will be happier. Sorry, but I don’t want my case decided on when there’s a profit motive involved. If insurance companies could get away with it, they’d be happy to collect your premiums and never pay anything out

I’m not aware of any countries seeking care in the US, but I know some citizens of other countries do seek care in the US. The US is blessed to have a large number of skilled, experienced and well-trained physicians. There’s no doubt about that. Treatment can happen quickly, provided you have the money. Sometimes governments or private insurers will help to pay the cost.

Sorry Trevor, but Americans are also seeking treatment abroad. It’s called medical tourism. And what is the most common reason for this? Price. Many Americans can’t afford the treatment at home, so they get it elsewhere. That’s a superior system at work. Many Americans also like to buy prescription drugs in Canada. Why? It’s cheaper.

I acknowledge that many leading edge treatments and drugs are developed in the US, but the US is hardly the only place where health treatments and drugs come from. This typifies the ‘ugly American’ attitude that the US is the centre of the universe and ‘how come they don’t do it like we do in the good old U S of A?’ kind of thinking.

I don’t really see the need to start listing off medical discoveries and drugs discovered outside the U S of A. I don’t need to mock the US, but I will criticize it. Don’t take it personally. I criticize the Canadian government too.

Socialism – so what?

The US is 31st at 78.1 years. Even Bosnia is higher.

The funniest thing about the whole healthcare debate in the US is the hysteria over socialism. If our socialized healthcare in Canada is so bad, how is it that Canada is fourth in the world in terms of life expectancy? The US is 31st. Not too hot for what’s supposed to be the best medical system in the world. Looking over the top 10 countries for life expectancy, how many have a socialized healthcare system? Those citizens don’t seem to mind.

I don’t understand the fixation so many Americans have with anything resembling socialism. I guess they look past the socialism at work in their own communities like firehalls, police stations, roads, libraries and other evil, socialist institutions.

How’d you like the firehall to come to your house when it’s burning and leave when they notice you’re not covered by their firehall? Not that it ever happened in America. Or a cop that doesn’t investigate your car being stolen because you don’t pay into their police fund? How about a toll on every single road you travel?

Another way to look at socialism is that it’s a pooling of resources for the common good of a group of people. Countries are kind of like that. It’s community. People unite around a common belief. Nothing wrong with that.

So, who cares if some doctors in socialized medical systems work for the state? Really, who does, other than some Americans? In Canada, our doctors run their own practices and they don’t seem to mind it. We do have some private clinics here and there is some debate about how much private care to allow and how that might work.

In fact, on a per capita basis, Canada spends just over half what the US does on healthcare. Another source of information on per capita spending on healthcare (PDF).

That’s some system in the US that doesn’t cover everyone. Where does all that money go? Seems rather inefficient to have 150 health care insurers with all the overhead to administer each company. It certainly simplifies things from the doctor’s perspective too.

For the record, I don’t believe US doctors are greedy, nor do I believe Canadian doctors are. In fact, I’m sure there are many US doctors pissed off at the whole system there because the decisions on treatment are often decided by the insurers and not them. Your health records are available to private corporations and mine are held by my doctor. The billing information and some treatment info is held by government. So what?

Government accountability, especially on an issue so important to everyone, is a good thing. I’m glad my governments are accountable in that way. Accountability in the US system is elusive at best and non-existent at worst. Health care companies, from what I’ve heard, are the biggest lobbyists on Capitol Hill.

Oh, look at that. Health is in second, just edged out by real estate, finance and insurance. $3.8 billion for lobbying? I think lobbying is synonymous with bribery.

If Canadian doctors have a problem with how much they’re paid here, and they’re paid well, I guess they could go to the US. We still have doctors here. I guess they don’t mind. Physicians and health workers in Canada, as in the US, are consistently among the top earners.

And Trevor, I’m not sure where you get the idea that somehow US physicians have a higher purpose and dedication to keeping you alive because they want to get paid. So Canadian doctors don’t care whether their patients live or die? What an asinine statement. I think that’s also an insult to professional physicians in the US who are doing the best they can for their patients, no matter what.

I think you illustrated the key difference between the US healthcare system and the “evil” socialized healthcare systems around the world: “They take whoever no matter who is sicker or not.” You’re right. Insurers in the US have no interest in you if you’re sick. It’s double jeopardy if you’re sick and don’t have the money to pay. You’re as good as dead in the US then.

At least in socialized healthcare systems you have the opportunity for coverage and treatment. I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is why if you ask most Canadians or citizens of countries with a socialized medical system, they’d never want the US system in their country.

As for getting a family doctor, I’ve never had an issue in finding a family physician here in Canada. I know it’s been tough for some. The same baby boom bubble there is happening here and many doctors are retiring. Our governments in Canada have also made mistakes in the past by restricting the numbers of physicians and nurses being educated. I guess they forgot about statistics.

Free market?

Tell us how you really feel.

Perhaps you haven’t been to Canada. You should come and visit some time. You might find that we also have a free market economy, and a still healthy one at that. How’s that free market working for you lately? Nothing like a little deregulation of the financial, real estate and insurance markets, combined with those “greedy corporations” to unravel your entire economy .

Fortunately, Canada’s economy has remained relatively healthy, all things considered, through the near collapse of the world’s economy. See, a little banking regulation is necessary, despite the attempts by Canadian banks and some Canadian politicians to go the virtually complete deregulation route in the US. Had we done that, we’d be as screwed as the US. I’m not particularly fond of the big banks here, but they’re among the strongest in the world now

I believe in a balanced approach when it comes to regulating business. Regulation and enforcement is needed to protect citizens, employees and consumers, but also to allow business to operate. It’s a sensible, Canadian approach and it’s generally worked pretty well for us here.

What’s happening in the US right now is sad. So many US citizens are still caught up in the “us versus them” style of politics between Democrats and Republicans, but they fail to see that both parties are the same. They’re beholden to special interests and lobbyists and are consistently screwing American citizens.

We can blame much of what is happening right now on the Republicans though. It was under George W. Bush’s reign that the US went from a $250 billion annual surplus from Bill Clinton in 2000 to $1 trillion deficit in 2008. US debt in that time went from about $5 trillion to $10 trillion. So much for the idea that Republicans are brilliant money managers.

I am certainly sympathetic to the plight Obama found himself in: an almost ruined economy and two unfinished wars, one of which was completely unjustified (Iraq – there were no weapons of mass destruction).

Americans have every right to be angry right now, but that anger should mostly be directed at the Republicans for what they did (or didn’t do) during their 8 years in power. That doesn’t absolve the Democrats of their duplicity either.

The problem in the US is far from being the “liberal jack offs” as you say. Your country is being ruined by rampant greed and outright theft of public money. Bush started the ball rolling on paying out companies like Goldman Sachs, Citibank and others with public money. Now the US taxpayer is on the hook for their criminal behaviour. You can’t blame it all on Obama.

If Americans are going to pull out of this nosedive successfully, it relies on Americans seeing their current politicians for who they really are. America used to command a lot of respect around the world, but that is not the case these days. So many Americans still hold outdated views about how the world sees them. Things will only change there when Americans open their eyes to what is really happening and how they’re being screwed by their own government, financially and in many of its corrupt actions around the world. Good luck.

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Alain Saffel

If I were to picture my ideal life, I’d be sitting in some far off land, sipping a coffee in a café, my backpack at my side, camera around my neck, motorcycle at the curb, pondering my next stop or maybe madly typing away on my laptop about my latest adventure.

23 thoughts on “Canadian and U.S. healthcare – a debate”

  1. Alain,

    With you clarifying this. I’ll retract my statement, because i myself am always up for a good debate just like you. And by retract. I’m talking about when i said you was mocking my country…but on the same note sir. Be careful of your words.Americans as you know do not like to be mocked. And if your going to criticize us then have the means to back your claim.

    Now your argument is just. And your logic behind what you have wrote is sound, but it’s flawed.It’s based on Utopian ideas that truly don’t exist when a federal government gets involved in your life. Canadians don’t get this. And i say Canadians in this argument because your sister in-law is engaged to me. So it’s kind of personal to me. With all your facts that you have laid out in front of me in your blog…I’m going to throw it right back at you with my own facts, because you went way off topic from just talking about our health care reform, and at the same time I’ll show you how your fellow brethren have been blinded by socialist views. I’ll try to stay on topic as much as i can, so bare with me if it seems like i steer off course.

    NOW. With that said, you should also know that i think there are some horrible evils with our health care system, and it needs a lot of work. But let me put it like this way like i put it to someone else. When you have a leak in your roof. Do you fix the leak or replace the roof?

    Think on that one after you read our constitution, and tell me where it says our government has the right to force health care on us? A health care bill 2,000 plus pages that NO ONE read.

    Let me begin….

    First off you said, “If your health condition was sufficiently serious, you’d be crazy to change jobs, at the risk of your health care coverage ceasing in relation to that condition. How is this considered ethical or just? Is this the kind of society we want?”

    In the United States there is nothing keeping you locked into a job because of health care. 85% of the citizens in this country have health insurance in one form or another thru a private health provider, and 60% of that is thru a employer. The rest of the country that cannot afford the premiums are still not left in the dust. For basic examinations, checkups, meds ,etc. Americans have the ability to go to “free health clinics” if they so choose. Get on Welfare, Medicaid, (which are bloated bureaucrat systems that don’t’ work, and government funded btw) but also reserve the right to go to low income doctors.

    But here’s the flaw in our system. The flaw that needed to be addressed, but never was because politics in this country was in bed with it for decades only to be slain by the very hands that was lining their pockets. Health care providers in this country are unregulated and unchecked. To me, as an American. That is evil and wrong to provide a health service protection only to line your pockets with our money and turn your backs on us when we become a liability or a “high risk” is evil. That sir, is the flaw in American health care system. To put profits over someones life is immoral and wrong. I believe that there should have been more laws and regulations that stiffened how they handled this decades ago. In a way it’s a double edge sword. Because what they are doing when they do this is in a way segregating us, but at the same time robbing us blind. But see.. Here’s the other thing. Until now. No body says you have to BE on health insurance. I reserved that right to make that choice for myself. I assume the risks yes, but i don’t mind paying outta pocket. Or i can use one of the other services i mentioned if i really have to.

    But before you say i told you so….here’s my defense to that. The united states is built off of a “free market economy”. And it’s an economy that has thrived like no other country in the history of this earth.

    And you cannot argue that. Your built off of it too remember?

    Health care companies have that right, and are entitled to make a profit. After all, it’s a business. And who are you, or myself for that matter to say how much or how little someone makes in a legit company. I hope they make trillions of dollars! And why not? that’s how capitalism works. But where it fails is when it succumbs to greed when it’s unchecked thru back door policies and corrupt bureaucrats, (i.e. when politics gets involved) and then loses it’s moral value. Any company that acts like that unchecked deserves to fail. When a company doesn’t look out for the consumer and are left unchecked to where they are “to big to fail” because they have the backs of politicians there is a problem, and corruption sets in. When was the last time you paid for a good or service and didn’t get what you put your money into? Where I’m from that’s called stealing. We as Americans get the best health service in the world, and to be denied service because they don’t wanna divvy up the money on something you paid into or are covered though is against the law.

    Perfect example was when i was in my car wreck in DEC 09′, and broke both my legs. I was covered thru the drivers health care and drivers insurance up to 100,000 dollars. They didn’t wanna give me anything except for the initial hospital e.r. visit. So i sued them. I was awarded 50,000 dollars for lost wages, medical expenses, etc. So don’t sit there and act like we’re defenseless against people like that. Because i spit in their face and took what was mine thru what was set in law. But it also proves my other point that our health care companies are unchecked and out of control.

    But i believe in capitalism, and the free market economy. And i will stand behind it all the way. The one and only thing i do not like about it is when the government gets into it because it wants a piece of my wealth or my companies wealth. When you allow government into your pocket it’s usually almost impossible to get them out. Because they keep digging deeper and deeper until your left with a cancer that’s just going to implode on itself due to heavy taxes, and burdens that are going to be passed onto the consumer. It’s basic economics….costs are always passed onto the consumer. And if the consumer cannot pay for it. He goes somewhere else. If the business doesn’t re-think it’s ways….it fails.

    So what if you remove the choice? This is where liberalism, socialism, and communism come into play. When you allow a government to control your life by over stepping it’s bounds you have tyranny. This is the exact reason we fought for our independence 200+ years ago. You want to know where American pride comes from?? It comes from that sir. It comes from millions of Americans who will not bow to any man or government. No matter how much they sugar coat it and make itself look good.

    You may have a free market economy…but you really don’t have a “free” market economy.And to be honest…neither do we anymore. Let’s look at the definition of that shall we?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-Market_Economy

    As defined by “Wikipedia” – A free market is a market without economic intervention and regulation by government except to outlaw and prosecute force or fraud. It is the opposite of a controlled market, where the government regulates how the means of production, goods, and services are used, priced, or distributed. This is the contemporary use of the term “free market” by economists and in popular culture; the term has had other uses historically. A free market economy is an economy where all markets within it are free. This requires protection of property rights, but no regulation, no subsidization, no government-imposed monopolistic monetary system, and no governmental monopolies.

    Tell me something…after reading that first paragraph….how much of your economy is run and/or controlled thru your government in one way or another? The first sentence alone tells you right there in black and white that a “free” market is WITHOUT govt. intervention. Just like i told you with our health care…the second govt. oversteps it’s bounds….corruption sets in. Just like anything else it’s dug it’s claws in. You sir have a mostly socialist economy hidden under the name of free economy. Which is a lie. That’s the beauty of socialism…you get to keep your land, goods, and services, so long as the govt. sees fit or needs them…then they just make a law and take them anyways. That is the problem with our country sir…this is why Americans are starting to stand up. finally after decades of this dumbing down of our ppl. You should read up on what the “tea party movement” is all about.
    And i love Canada…don’t get me wrong. Your a wonderful people. But you have no backbone to stand up and fight for what you believe in. Your country has so much potential if you just stand up and take back what they took from you. Your massive taxation on goods and services is insane…and why do you think that is? It all goes back to basic economics like i said and your government. But enough on that…i can go on forever.

    Now… what is socialism? Again…let’s look at the definition.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

    Socialism refers to the various theories of economic organization which advocate either public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources. A more comprehensive definition of socialism is an economic system that directly maximizes use-values as opposed to exchange-values and has transcended commodity production and wage labor, along with a corresponding set of social and economic relations, including the organization of economic institutions and method of resource allocation; often implying a method of compensation based on individual merit, the amount of labor expended or individual contribution.

    In other words…it paints this pretty picture that your taxes, goods, and services are doing it for the benefit of all mankind in your country. When in actuality they’re are elitists in power that make laws and govern you under a false impression. Your comparison to what is socialism and what is not is unjust, and i had to chuckle to myself because your missing the point altogether. When you talk of police, and fire departments…that is not socialism…HELL…that’s not even federal. Everything you just stated is regulated by the states. You really need to understand our government and how it works before you criticize something like that. When i speak of socialism…I’m speaking on a Federal scale. Still think I’m talking crazy talk? OK…watch a couple of these video’s off Youtube.com and let me know what you think.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEVuEAas2ag&playnext_from=TL&videos=veBvXwkHNq8 (that’s part 1 )

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3yrJogH3Yg&feature=related ( that’s part 2 )

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JF3SUpkapA&feature=related ( finally part 3 )

    Now those three videos will sum up pretty much everything i have just told you…probably better. And if you open your eyes…you will see that it is the truth. You can sit down and take it, blow it off, or hear what i have to say. I can not allow this to happen to my country. I took an oath as a child all the way up to me being an adult to uphold and defend our constitution. You should really read it sometime. Along with our Bill of rights. It really is beautiful work if you can understand it for what it is.

    Moving on…

    oh wait…almost forgot. when you compared the life expectancy to other countries your dead wrong. If you take the size of the united states as compared to all the countries on your little list there. You should note that there is a huge population difference between all of them compared to us. Not to mention with that high population comes higher mortality rates…not to mention we have more auto accidents, murders, everything that has nothing to do with our health care, etc. so how can you take one of those European countries which is the size of one of our states and compare it to us? REALLY? The only two off the top of my head that come close is India, and China who’s populations are thru the roof. But you can’t use china as an example…because china is still very much a communist state of government and any information you get from them in regards to something like that will most likely be false to make themselves look good. And why not? They have total control. They can say whatever they want too. I’m not even going to get into India…yikes.

    OK…seriously. moving on. I’m not going to cover every subject that you’ve covered in your America bashing rant on this blog. But I’m going to finish off by talking about 911, and Iraq when you started saying that we had no business there in the first place. Let me correct you on that.

    The liberal media bashed Bush for this…Bashed bush for that. Pointed fingers of blame and ridiculed and all the while Bush was justified in the invasion of Iraq. And let me tell you why.

    To understand why the United States got attacked you need to go back to Jimmy Carter. Who BTW is a liberal democrat. In 1979 he lost or better yet destroyed our diplomatic relationship with Iran. If you want to research it you can. Just Google “Anglo-American Islamic Revolution 1979”. In this time. Iran was a major ally to the United States in the Middle East. So what happened? The Shah at the time was going to be overthrown by Islamic fanatics, and we turned our back on them when we canceled Iranian visas, and had a humiliating rescue attempt, crashing our helicopters in the desert…which turned them into the Islamic state that they are now. Oh ! I don’t know if you know this. But Iran created one of the most barbaric Islamic terrorist militants ever because of this. And it’s been that way ever since. They harbor terrorist cells, and supply weapons to armed thugs across the middle east. But see…at that time no one really had any comprehension at the time what they started.

    So when Regan took office his polices were set on Russia and the Nuclear missile treaties. I’m sure you remember those…i sure as hell do. Scary stuff. Not to mention all the bull that was going on in Europe. Remember the Berlin wall in 1989? Our eyes were not on the Middle east then…but it was starting to come about. If you research you’ll see there was quite a few Islamic terrorists that hijacked airplanes in the 80’s. So again, we can all thank Jimmy Carter for that.

    Then you have Bush Sr. Do you remember why we invaded Iraq the first time? i do! Because this monster Saddam was out of control and murdered 100’s of thousands of his own people, not to mention people of other countries. He then proceeded to invade Kuwait to try and control the worlds oil supply. And what did Hussein do when he fled like the coward that he was? He set the oil fields on fire. Did i mention that Bush Sr was a republican? Huh…oh well. ( i like to keep stating this because in America. Democrat’s are typically on the far left side of the spectrum with liberals, Marxist’s, etc.) Now for whatever reason…i don’t know. We allowed this madman to remain in power. Which is why you’ll hear Americans say “we never fished the job the first time” Even though during the war we had confirmed reports of our snipers with him in our cross hairs. But anyways…he stays in power and is forced to sign a massive treaty if he is to stay in power. Restricting him to the confides of his boarders, and limiting his military power. (HA!)

    Next came Bill Clinton…sigh. This guy is a poster child for spineless liberals. Him and that lying weasel Al Gore. Not getting into his politics and staying on focus. This man allowed not just one…but many attacks on Americans from Islamic radicals and he did NOTHING! Except he bombed an aspirin factory with a cruise missile. This is a list of the things Clinton allowed on his watch.

    In February 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed by Muslim fanatics, killing five people and injuring hundreds.

    Clinton, advised by Dick Clarke, did nothing.

    In October 1993, 18 American troops were killed in a savage firefight in Somalia. The body of one American was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu as the Somalian hordes cheered.

    Clinton responded by calling off the hunt for Mohammad Farrah Aidid and ordering our troops home. Osama bin Laden later told ABC News: “The youth … realized more than before that the American soldier was a paper tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat.”

    In November 1995, five Americans were killed and 30 wounded by a car bomb in Saudi Arabia set by Muslim extremists.

    Clinton, advised by Dick Clarke, did nothing.

    In June 1996, a U.S. Air Force housing complex in Saudi Arabia was bombed by Muslim extremists.

    Clinton, advised by Dick Clarke, did nothing.

    Months later, Saddam attacked the Kurdish-controlled city of Erbil.

    Clinton, advised by Dick Clarke, lobbed some bombs into Iraq hundreds of miles from Saddam’s forces.

    In November 1997, Iraq refused to allow U.N. weapons inspectors to do their jobs and threatened to shoot down a U.S. U-2 spy plane.

    Clinton, advised by Dick Clarke, did nothing.

    In February 1998, Clinton threatened to bomb Iraq, but called it off when the United Nations said no.

    On Aug. 7, 1998, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Muslim extremists.

    Clinton, advised by Dick Clarke, did nothing.

    On August 20, Monica Lewinsky appeared for the second time to testify before the grand jury.

    Clinton responded by bombing Afghanistan and Sudan, severely damaging a camel and an aspirin factory.

    On December 16, the House of Representatives prepared to impeach Clinton the next day.

    Clinton retaliated by ordering major air strikes against Iraq, described by The New York Times as “by far the largest military action in Iraq since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.”

    The only time Clinton decided to go to war with anyone in the vicinity of Muslim fanatics was in 1999 — when Clinton attacked Serbians who were fighting Islamic fanatics.

    In October 2000, our warship, the USS Cole, was attacked by Muslim extremists.
    Clinton, advised by Dick Clarke, did nothing.

    This man allowed this to go unchecked, and on top of his economic failures, bush had to inherit this mess. BUT…I’m not letting Bush get off Scott free either. Bush’s wild cowboy tactics brought the middle east to their knees, but his policies are going to haunt us for a very long time.The “Patriot Act” is a good example. When 911 happened, everyone says…”oh bush knew it was going to happen”. OK…until you have sound evidence…i don’t wanna hear it. I look at facts. And facts show that terrorist cells in Afghanistan. A country bought to cinders by the former USSR, was harboring terrorist cells and training camps. Iraq wasn’t even a question just yet..Until we started taking prisoners, and prisoners talk when persuaded. Turns out Saddam was supplying them with weapons and was offering assistance to these organizations. Not to mention that his arms treaty signed from the first gulf war was being used as toilet paper.

    Now this next part is good…so pay close attention. Because i love to point this out to liberals. You might get a kick out of it. You know why we didn’t find any weapons? Any guesses? Aside what the media told you? Because he got rid of them and sold them/and hid them. Much like a bank robber hides the gun he used to rob a bank. I would have to do more research on this…but most of the evidence is showing that he sold most of his big weapons to Iran. Another claim is that there was no evidence of any WMD’s. That also is false. We found countless biological, chemical weapons labs. On top of his torture chambers, rape rooms, etc. You don’t buy a crack pipe unless you intend to smoke crack. That’s just common since. So for you to sit there and tell me that or invasion into Iraq was unjust…then you are sorely mistake sir, and i kindly ask that you read your facts first and not what you read in tabloids and/or saw on TV.

    You seem like a very intelligent man, and i admire that in people. But you don’t see both sides of the spectrum. At least not how i see it.
    I would like to recommend some books to you that i have personally read. Maybe it’ll broaden your view on how we Americans work, and how our country is failing because of this bullsh*t.

    In closing I’m going to leave you with one last link to a video before i leave you that book list. This man represents everything that America stands for and i truly look up to him as an American. And he’s just a common person like you and me. But his message is strong, and the reason I’m leaving you this link is so you can feel or get a taste of this movement brewing in our country. And i can say I’m proud to be a part of it.
    I will not re-post after this nor read your response to this…i think that right now Canadians and Americans can agree to disagree and leave it at that.

    Good debate sir. I only wish we could do it in person,
    Trevor

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxDwBYjL3Fc&playnext_from=TL&videos=QbfdFlXUAWU

    Books:

    Obama Zombies
    by:Jason Mattera

    The Audacity of Hope
    by: Barack Obama

    1776
    by: David McCullough

    Arguing with Idiots
    by: Glenn Beck

    1. Out of many flaws that I could point out, I’ll stick with the fact that you cited Glenn Beck as a legitimate source.

  2. Great critique, I’m sharing this with my friends. I think I agree with everything you said, there’s simply nothing left to add. So many Americans believe in their own country blindly, just like the guy in your article. They rather ignore countless flaws in their healthcare system than accept the truth. I hope one day things will get better.

    Have a nice day,
    Jay

  3. Great debate but the real problem with any universal healthcare system is that it breeds mediocrity and entrenches entitlement. One size fits all, lowest common denominator, disease management results and as a consumer i am absolved from participating in my own care. Healthcare should be about health not diagnosis and treatment. Prevention, true health care, unbiased recommendations, and responsibility for myself , my family and my community’s well being should be the hallmarks we strive for.

    One very pragmatic approach to improve treatment and reduce costs is to examine different compensation models for healthcare providers and hospitals. The current ‘pay per service’ model encourages additional services (tests, screenings, follow-ups) where each is billed separately. Maybe the system should compensate for bundles of services or impacts of services or health of participants …

    1. Thanks for your comment Bob. I don’t know that a universal healthcare system necessarily does entrench entitlement and mediocrity. I wouldn’t call my healthcare professionals mediocre.

      I would also disagree that you’re absolved from participating in your own health care. With the private system in the US, people seem to participate about as much, depending on what type of participation we’re talking about.

      I agree that we should focus on health, but government has many barriers up to prevent that. The problem isn’t just with the health system. It’s our food system. We can blame people for their choices, but governments have warped the economics of food by subsidizing unhealthy choices, for example, corn (HFCS high fructose corn syrup, sugar, etc), beef, etc.

      Governments are protecting producers and their suppliers. Governments should be protecting consumers from unscrupulous companies in this field, but they’re not. With all the information about the harmful effects of pesticides, salt, sugar, hydrogenated oils, GMOs, etc, why is government not helping to protect consumers? Follow the money.

      Our problems run deeper than just the kind of healthcare system we have, how it’s billed, etc. Consumers want information and governments are keeping it from us by not forcing proper labelling and reductions of harmful substance in food. That’s one place to start.

      Do we really want to reduce healthcare costs? Cancer? Heart disease? Diabetes? Let’s really look at what is causing those problems and not just blame consumers who are making economic choices in a warped economic system that the government has allowed to happen.

    2. Well, you get the facts wrong. In Canada, healthcare is provided at a provincial level. Provinces have a pretty good idea about what their risk pool is, and actually invest a lot into prevention, since, eventually, it pays for itself. A dollar invested into prevention can save a few dollars in treatment, and since everyone is covered, the law of large number applies. It is easy to operate.

      In US, try regulating something like soda. There’ll be a whole Soda Party complete with slogans “I have the right to do with my body whatever I please! This is my health and my responsibility!”. Guess what? All these obese sorry losers, unless they die before 65, still end up on Medicare. Only they are, quite often, in much worse shape. US government already pays 55% of all healthcare bills in your country. And it is only going to get worse.

      What US does is encourages “begger thy neighbour” approach: if someone is too costly, make them someone else’s problem, and don’t invest into prevention at all.

      A very similar approach goes for high schools: yes, US have some individual public schools that are much better than Canadian ones. However, on average Canadian schools are better. Why? Because in US it again goes with “begger thy neighbour”: just move all the poor people from the neighbourhood. Problem solved! In Canada, schools are financed through provincial taxes, not local taxes, so it’s pretty impossible to just shut out some poor folks. And, yes, we do have shool boards.

      US idea of competitiveness is the parents of rich kids paying doctors to bread poor kids’ legs in maternity wards so that rich kids would turn out to be faster runners.

  4. Last I checked, Canada had a population somewhere around 34 million. The united states has over 305 million people. Hell, we probably have more illegal aliens living here than Canada has citizens. My point is, Canadian Health care is having financial troubles, big financial troubles with just 34 million to take care of. Multiply that by a factor of ten, and you might see how our new system is going to bring us to our knees.

    1. You also have at least 10 times the tax base. You can figure out how to get people to the moon and back, but can’t get everyone health care?

      The real issue is not whether or not it’s possible to get everyone health care, it’s how the dollars are spent. The other issue is the population problem. Baby boomers are going to be a huge burden to the health care system and will be paying less taxes at the same time. The problem won’t sort itself out until they’re all gone. I hope we aren’t left with too big of a bill.

      I’d be willing to bet that our single payer system tends to waste less money on administration. We certainly don’t waste much on marketing. That being said, I’m sure that there are efficiencies to be found and some health services that could be cut also, on both sides of the border.

  5. Alain, you really want a government to control what you can eat? Forcing reductions of harmful substances in food? Who decides this? Funny how most of the people eating a more “healthy” diet, seem to be dying at about the same rate as the rest of us. I would rather be able to educate myself and make my own choices about what I ingest than having the government protect me from my own bad decisions. Talk to two nutritionists and you will hear two different views of what is good and what is bad. If Canadians want to live under a nanny state that instructs them on what to do, where to go and what they can eat, fine. As Americans, most of us like a little more freedom than that.

    BTW – I see many more fast food joints in your country’s cities than I see down here. The TRUTH is, socialized medicine works better when people die younger. We all are going to die of something, and the longer we live, the more trips to the doctor we make.

    1. Oh, I also wanted to say that I agree with food labeling so we know what is in the food we are purchasing. We do a pretty good job with that down here. When I have been in Canada, I notice there isn’t as much information on the products at grocery stores because they have to fit the English and French translations on the products. I’m worried that is going to be next down here, where everything is going to have to include a Spanish label too.

    2. I never said that the government should control what we eat. What I’m referring to is mandatory labelling so the public can see what’s in their food. Government should play a watchdog role.

      If there are toxins in my food but I’m not informed of it, how is it caveat emptor? Am I expected to buy a sample so I can run some tests on it first? Should I do this each time I go to the store? In a free market system there do need to be checks and balances. It would be an absurd waste of resources for consumers to have to do this.

      This is one of government’s roles: consumer protection. Maybe if the SEC and other government departments in the US were doing their jobs, companies like Goldman Sachs wouldn’t be scamming the public. http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2010/04/16/sec-charges-goldman.html

      When there is research that indicates how harmful substances like pesticides, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and others are, yes, they should be banned. Ractopamine to bulk up your pork? How about grinding up downer cows, sheep and other animals to feed to cows? BSE anyone? At least we don’t have BGH in our dairy products here.

      So, yes, I do believe government plays an important role in helping to protect citizens and consumers. We should be testing products that come from China, particularly food products. It’s evident that many Chinese businesses are highly unscrupulous and the Chinese government can’t be trusted to set and enforce product standards.

      So if you think it’s socialist to do that, too fucking bad. I elected these bastards to play that role so they should damn well do it. Last time I checked, companies don’t actually vote.

      1. Well that is not what you originally said. You said, “Consumers want information and governments are keeping it from us by not forcing proper labelling and reductions of harmful substance in food. That’s one place to start.”

        Reductions of harmful substance in food is not only about labels and I goes directly to what I asked. Who decides what is harmful and who reduces it for us?

        1. Alain, seriously now, do you even read what I say or do you just flip out and keep arguing a point I said I agree with you on. YES, there should be labeling of food. Yes, we have better labeling than you do because you are forced to kiss ass to Quebec and have everything labeled bilingual – even though the French in Canada, can very well understand and read English. I said I agree with you and then you go on arguing that you should have a right to know what is in food without testing it yourself. Good grief!

          1. Okay, well then you do what the government to decide what is good and what is bad for you. We do not use meat by products in animal feeds for animals used for human consumption anymore.

            What happens when the government decides red meat is going to kill you and won’t allow you to purchase it anymore?

            Like I said before, which you ignored and which has been proven in Great Briton. Socialized medicine works more efficiently when the populace dies younger.

  6. Again, it was I that explained to you that it was Bill Clinton that signed the bill into law that repealed the Glass–Steagall Act that directly lead to the deregulation of financial institutions. Our food down here is pretty safe – last time I got food poisoning it was in Saskatoon in your wonderfully government controlled, safe food labeled, bilingual Country of superiority.

  7. I think alain had a good strong arguement, and so did Trevor. I understand what it’s like to feel pride for ones country, if anyone has taken sociology there is a strong tie between your country and how you identify as a person. I just want to start off by saying I love Canada, because it is my home and will always be my home. Just as Trevor feels his colors will never run, I understand his patriotism and pride for his country. However, my great great grandfather came from missouri; one on trevor’s relatives was Canadian. Looking back further we both( if not every person in this thread) came from generations long ago from Europe. So my point is … Battle lines clearly drawn, but I think no matter who we are and where we come from, who we love or how we live, we all yearn for basic things such as a job that can support us and our families, decent affordable health care and a place to come home to at the end of the day. I understand how Americans value their free market economy, yet it’s not a true free economy when gmc got it’s bailout or AIG. The cohesion that has kept America together will tear it apart with such a global economy. There must be some medium where government can step in and allow for programs to retrain workers so they can keep their families in their homes. Having your governments give welfare and handouts to people who are lazy and don’t want to make a living isn’t the answer; it’s government aiding the middle class in a changing or difficult economy. The ones who have worked tirelessly to make a living and are suddenly without work or health care. I don’t believe in Americas health care bill, mostly because they allowed it to be far too large and complex and gave government too much power. But I do agree with Americans changing jobs more than ever that their medical MUST be portable. If I was an employer, I wouldn’t want to hit people if I knew their basic health care needs weren’t being met. And America does have good health care; however Americans are now going to Mexico for gastric band surgeries. Total cost? 6,000$, 1/3 what Americans pay. These hospitals are top of the line; only problem is, if there is complications post surgery, you sometimes have any recourse. I would say that bottom line is, if profits come before patients, a health system Is no system at all.
    I am learning more about America, it’s a beautiful country, b I agree that a free market has allowed

    1. Damn iPhone….

      As I was saying, I agree that a free market has allowed America to flourish and become a large and powerful nation. And If they are mad at more socialist views coming into play, sorry I didn’t vote for Obama so you can’t blame me. :-) however bush was elected not once but twice. I could rant over that idiot for hours but my wrist hurts and he’s not worth my time. I just think in order to keep a country going smoothly it shouldn’t be so laissez faire that when it crashes there is no one there tho give them a leg up, or so controlled by governent forced laws that it’s citizens can’t breathe. I spend alot of time on both sides of the border, and I think fundamentally we all want to be able to make a life for ourselves but be able to turn to our government in times of crisis. During 911 Americans all looked to their government, as they do in tough economic times. Maybe some think obama is a terrible president, maybe a great one. But despite it all he goes and speaks to people, and sees a definite need. He may not always do the right thing, but he’s doing the best he can with the mess he was handed. His health bill may not become successful, but I understand where he’s coming from. It’s not to push a set of views, it’s because he sees a nation in crisis, sick people being denied coverage by their multibillion dollar insurance companies, and families not able to pay their childs medical bills.

  8. ” – last time I got food poisoning it was in Saskatoon in your wonderfully government controlled, safe food labeled, bilingual Country of superiority.”

    I’m thinking that’s a pretty brutal statement. I’ve never one thought ourselves to be “superior’ in any fashion to the good ol’ us of A. I suppose instead of getting all defensive maybe have s quick re-read of what alain was saying- he stated that he prefered his medical system but it needed still alot of work. No wonder why canadians get sick of Americans n their bullshit – because of assinine comments like that. At least when united nations says no, we listen. Superiority complex? That comes from south of the border. You wanna be disliked by the middle east so much, have atter. Superior doesn’t necessarily equate the best. Now sit tight, would write more but my dog sled team needs fed. Jesus.

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