Saturday, July 25, 2009

Words you'll never hear in the Canadian health care system

1. "Out of network"
There are no "networks" in Canada. Doctors and hospitals are not affiliated with private insurance companies. Doctors are private business entities and hospitals are usually run by non-profit boards or regional health associations.

2. "COBRA"
Health coverage is NOT tied to your place of employment in any way. So any COBRA-like scheme is unnecessary.

3. "Co-Pay"
The government pays 100% of basic care, 100% of the time. Drugs are not covered, but are subsidized by government to a point. And because of mass buys, discounts are obtained from the drug companies. That's why our prices are so much lower. Most employers offer a drug plan that pays for 100% of drug cost coverage.

4. "monthly premium\deductible"
Wazzat? We don't consider our health to be the same as our possessions.

5. "waiting for approval"
Doctors are the sole decision makers for health care. NOBODY influences or delays their decisions, warns them of costs or prevents them from giving treatment for any reason.

6. "Government interference"
The provincial government in each province PAYS for whatever services doctors provide. No questions asked. Unless the procedure is experimental, not medically necessary or unwarranted, doctors cannot deny basic care - by law.

7. "Health insurance lobby"
There are NO insurance companies for basic care, only companies for providing insurance for travelers. No money to be made here.

8. "bureaucracy"
When we visit a hospital or doctor's office, we walk in, get treated, walk out. No "applications", "registrations" or any other kind of paperwork is required. We NEVER have to talk to a single "government official" or wait for a "judgment".

This is such a foreign concept to us. A Canadian's usual reaction to the explanation of this term is astonishment.

I'm glad to see that a sane health care system is within reach in America. Fight for it. It's WORTH it.

From the Democratic Underground

Handbook for Post-Racial America

GOP: Grand Old Perverts

"I know where I'm going to go on my next break. I'm going to the C Street House in Washington, D.C. You know what this is? It's kind of a frat house for Christian congressman, where they live and pray together and counsel each other on how to adhere to the nine commandments."
---Bill Maher

Meet Tennessee state senator Paul Stanley. He's a solid conservative Republican and married father of two, who according to his website is "a member of Christ United Methodist Church, where he serves as a Sunday school teacher and board member of their day school."

In a sworn affidavit, a Tennessee state investigator has said that Stanley admitted to having a "sexual relationship" with a 22-year-old female intern working in his office, and to taking nude pictures of her in "provocative poses" in his apartment.Daily Kos

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


WASHINGTON — The final installment of a three-part increase in the federal minimum wage is proving to be the most controversial.

Two previous wage increases, one in 2007, the other in 2008, pushed the federal wage to $5.85 and then to the current $6.55 an hour. The third, which goes into effect Friday [July 24, 2009], will push it to $7.25 an hour.

That's not a life-changing raise — an extra $28 a week for a fulltime worker earning the federal minimum. By Tony Pugh McClatchy Newspapers
All the conservative hand-wringing over the latest increase in the federal minimum wage but not a wit of concern over the mega-billions in bonuses for the Wall Street mountebanks that embezzled over 40% of America's wealth. The new minimum wage amounts to $290 a week or $14,500 a year - poverty level by anyone's standards.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tales from the Dark Side

Common sense v the $1.8 billion dollar budget shortfall

Despite the hysterics by Mike Bishop and fellow Republicans over the need for drastic cuts in public services, Michigan's money woes, given the deep recession, are actually less severe then those of 33 other states. Bishop and friends would slash funding for many of the programs critically beneficial to Michigan's working families like health care and education.
California is hardly the only case of trouble worse than Michigan. According to an analysis of state budget problems by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Michigan’s budget gap ranks 34th among the 50 states in severity. Michigan’s budget problems are below average, with budget gaps much higher (as a percentage of the budget) in states as diverse as Arizona, Illinois, Alaska and New Jersey. by Matt Grossman, July 17, 2009
The state [Michigan] has cut 10,000 employees since 2000, leaving it with a staff comparable to the early 1970s. Annual general fund revenues, when adjusted for inflation, have shrunk in all but one of the last nine years. They are expected to be $6.9 billion next year, a level last seen in 1991 (and with the inflation adjustment, more like the 1960s). by Monica Davey, NY Times
Bishop's budget proposals would ensure the continued deterioration of the physical and intellectual infrastructure necessary to support Michigan's transition from low-tech/low-skill mass production to high-skill, technology centered, flexible production. States that allow their transportation, utility, and education systems to deteriorate to third-world status cannot compete globally.