Waiting for healthcare.

Today is the one year anniversary of my wife’s car accident. She was hit by somebody who went through a red light, rolled her SUV four times, and ended up on her roof. She has been in constant pain ever since, even though our insurance company, State Farm, has declared her all better and stopped paying for treatment.

So in Canada’s free healthcare system, we’re still out of pocket for several hundred dollars of physiotherapy.

And to top it all off, on Monday, one year and four days after the accident, she finally has her first appointment with an orthopedic specialist. She also has a doppler test scheduled. Over a year later. And if she needs treatment, who knows how long that will take.

So to all you folks in the US that are dying for universal healthcare, just keep in mind that it comes at the cost of timeliness at the very least. And while we’re on the subject of bad news, you should read this:

It didn’t take long to run into an "uh-oh" moment when reading the House’s "health care for all Americans" bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.

And you should probably read the bill, because your elected politicians sure aren’t.

You’ve probably heard that there is no such thing as a free lunch.Or free healthcare.

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11 thoughts on “Waiting for healthcare.

  1. It’s interesting how in the same post, you seem to take issue with:

    1. Waiting times in Canada’s system (which is really just a universal insurance policy for all Canadians covering emergency/essential care)
    2. How private insurance companies never seem to pay up
    3. Paying out of pocket

    Those are really the only options — public insurance, private insurance, or out-of-pocket.

    Are you proposing something different?

  2. Actually I was merely noting the time it takes to get care. I’m not referring to private insurance; that’s illegal in Canada. I was referring to our car insurance company. And I was pointing out that the care is not free; we still pay out of pocket.

    I wasn’t comparing healthcare options.

  3. Private health insurance is not at all illegal in Canada! There are a multitude of options — more every day, as OHIP coverage shrinks.

    Anyone can purchase private insurance to cover what our public insurance (aka OHIP) omits, like dental, drugs, private rooms, ambulance, vision, chiropractic, physiotherapy, etc, etc.

    For examples see Manulife (aka CoverMe), Blue Cross Canada, or the Cooperators.

  4. Actually that is referred to as extended health insurance, and I cannot cover any medical care that OHIP covers.

    I believe that private insurance for medically necessary hospital and physician services is illegal in 6 of the 10 provinces, including Ontario. My point was actually regarding the wait time to see an orthopedic specialist.

  5. Keep in mind that you’ve lived in both countries, as have I. Many Americans have healthcare plans such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which covers medical, dental, drug, chiropractic, physiotherapy, etc. And Medicare/Medicaid covers much of that as well, including prescription drugs for the elderly.

    So when they say healthcare, they mean all of the above, from doctor visits, to hospital care, etc.

    Canada is often held up as an example of free universal healthcare, but we both know that there are many things that aren’t covered, and there are substantial wait times for many procedures. Those Americans who have coverage, and those in states where they cannot be turned away, are also used to high-tech hospitals with multiple CT/MRI/PET suites, whilc I believe that for example Waterloo Region is just trying to get a second MRI machine in a community of 500,000.

    The particular case of my wife’s accident is just a more frustrating illustration for me.

  6. I agree 100% that the Canadian system could use improvement. I just think we need to move more towards what the Europeans (and most other rich countries in the world) have done, instead of trying to copy the seriously broken American system.

  7. Pingback: Same time next year.

  8. I’m late to this party but just found this post through another search,

    I researched the ‘uh oh” page 16 of HR3200 linked in your article and found no mention of private health insurers being illegal. What I found was, as one would expect in the beginning pages of a long bill, is the definition of terms.

    And instead of the quote from the link you provided,

    “It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section of the bill clearly states:

    “Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.

    What I found was definition of terms as follows.
    That’s all, no mention of private insurance being made illegal. So you never read page 16 of HR3200, read it and didn’t think, or read it and decided that scaring people would draw more readers. All of which are unacceptable.

    Check it for yourself and post a retraction thanks

    http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090714/aahca.pdf

    SEC. 102. PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT
    2 COVERAGE.
    3 (a) GRANDFATHERED HEALTH INSURANCE COV4
    ERAGE DEFINED.—Subject to the succeeding provisions of
    5 this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable cov6
    erage under this division, the term ‘‘grandfathered health
    7 insurance coverage’’ means individual health insurance
    8 coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the
    9 first day of Y1 if the following conditions are met:
    10 (1) LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT.—
    11 (A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in
    12 this paragraph, the individual health insurance
    13 issuer offering such coverage does not enroll
    14 any individual in such coverage if the first ef15
    fective date of coverage is on or after the first
    16 day of Y1.

  9. Actually I didn’t feel the need to fact check Investor’s Business Daily. But supposing I had, and I had read further to page 19 I would have seen this (apologies for bad formatting):

    (1) INGENERAL.—Individual health insurance
    1
    coverage that is not grandfathered health insurance
    2
    coverage under subsection (a) may only be offered
    3
    on or after the first day of Y1 as an Exchange-par-
    4
    ticipating health benefits plan. 5

    And on page 72 I would have read this:

    Subtitle A—Health Insurance
    4
    Exchange
    5
    SEC. 201. ESTABLISHMENT OF HEALTH INSURANCE EX-
    6
    CHANGE; OUTLINE OF DUTIES; DEFINITIONS.
    7
    (a) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established within
    8
    the Health Choices Administration and under the direc-
    9
    tion of the Commissioner a Health Insurance Exchange
    10
    in order to facilitate access of individuals and employers,
    11
    through a transparent process, to a variety of choices of
    12
    affordable, quality health insurance coverage, including a
    13
    public health insurance option.14

    Now I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that any coverage I need after the first day of year 1 – like if I lose my job for instance – must now be purchased via this Health Care Exchange. Which means that I can’t just call up Blue Cross Blue Shield as I did before.

    Since I by law must go through a government run Health Care Exchange, and cannot go directly to a health care provider, that does seem to make the direct purchase of private insurance illegal.

    To be fair, in the end I may end up with a private health care plan, though that isn’t at all clear through the bill.

    Now if only the bill was written in plain language, a term which is defined on page 39, but clearly not used.

    A very good reading of the bill can also be found at The Gorgomons.

  10. Healthcare has been on the decline in America for decades Obama wokeup those who didn’t notice. His solution fails on many levels but most of all it will simply redistribute the misery. Ignorance and power when brought under one roof (White House) is a weapon hard to defeat. Fortunately for those of us who have our sanity the very laws now riding all over us will be the same ones that will never allow this proposed system to take effect. If you get a chance read my forth coming book Demons of Democracy and find out what you have missed in the liberal media. Follow me on platosthoughts on twitter. contact me at platosrun@yahoo.com

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