Saturday, April 28, 2012

Canadian Health Care Work$!

A lucky little man came home from the hospital yesterday.  Born at 31 weeks, he received the best premature baby care in the world (in a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at a university hospital) - for free.  "NICU stays for babies born between 32 and 34 weeks gestation average about $31,000, and babies who are born earlier than 32 weeks cost even more. For babies weighing between 501 and 750 grams, treatment costs average $89,564" (Cheryl Morrissette, About.com Guide, 1/17/2012)  This baby was lucky in a lot of ways (for example, the parents he chose), but one biggy has to be the fact he was born in Canada.  For all the crap heaped on "socialized medicine" south of the 49th parallel (the U.S. is the only developed nation in the world without a nationwide comprehensive public health care system), the publicly-funded Canadian system works very well, thank you.  Sure, you might have to wait for elective procedures, and yes, there are those who abuse the system, (and some minimal user fees should be instituted), but if you need acute care you get it in Canada - fast, and (did I mention?) free.  If I hear neo-cons south of the border trying to scare the U.S. public one more time by stating that a "bureaucrat" standing between you and your doctor is somehow worse than an insurance company doing so, I think I'll puke.  Health is not a right, and neither is health care, but no one should be bankrupted by medical conditions they have no control over.  Canada's system isn't perfect, but ask the family of this little guy and they'll tell you it's pretty damn good!