Posted by: nichole | September 6, 2009

The Debate Wages On

I’m in an interesting position. I am a US citizen living in Canada with permanent resident status. This means I have access to and covered by the Canadian health care system.

On my recent trip to Dallas, whenever someone learned I lived in Canada, the first question was about the health care system. This was never on the radar 8 years ago when I first relocated. Now, because it has been in the news as a comparable alternative to what’s available in the US, everyone wants to know what is is really all about. I will share my answer with you a little later in this post.

Today, a former colleague posted a comment in response to this tweet:
“No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick.” His response was “seems like a no brainer; totally agree but know there’s a better way than turning it over to the Gov.”

My question is what’s the better way? What’s the alternative? My thought is if there was a better way, one would be in existence already. Wouldn’t it?

More than anything I want to respect the beliefs of others. My mom taught me that to truly understand the position of others you need to walk a mile in their shoes. Of course, this lesson was in tandem with a Bible lesson but a good lesson nonetheless. With that said, I wonder what fuels the opposing positions on US health care?

Several years ago when I was gainfully employed in the US with employer-paid health care, I had a different position. I may have thought “why can’t people work like me and have their employer pay for their coverage?” It was eleven years ago, I was younger, and didn’t really see how important health care can be. Today, I have one parent retired paying health care out of their pocket (and it’s not cheap. I saw the bill). I have another parent about to retire who has recently faced several expensive doctor and hospital bills NOT covered by his insurance. My view has changed because my overall circumstances have changed. I can view this topic differently. I have walked in a different pair of shoes than those eleven years ago.

Let’s take a psychologist’s approach to uncovering the concern. I can image a lot of people are concerned about their taxes. Some don’t like the idea a health care system that is government run. What do sick people think? Where’s the voice of the people living with illness? What are their thoughts on what is being proposed whether they have current health care or not?

Going back to my original question…What’s the answer? Not sure if I haven’t been really listening or not but what I haven’t heard is preventative medicine. If I’m not mistaken, some companies wanted to stop. Sorry, the right term is “regulate” alternative medicine which includes vitamins, natural and organic products. Mmmm, makes me wonder?

Let’s see how thoughts on health care possibly change in a couple of months. Sometimes I think we think first with our wallets and don’t give thought for down the road. I attribute this thinking to available street parking. Sometimes, cars are allowed to park in the right lane of a busy street. There is always some cars that drive in that lane until they find themselves right behind the parked car. If they had given thought and some attention to looking more than one car length in front of them, they wouldn’t find themselves behind a parked car.

Now on my response to the question: in my opinion there are some flaws to the system but overall it’s OK. I don’t believe a similar system would work in the US due to the population. I do believe their should be some regulation regarding costs and policies. I also believe measures for preventative medicine should be implemented. Nevertheless, nothing will be accomplished unless a majority see and understand the need for this right.

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