Thursday, September 27, 2007

Save public health care

Here's a couple of interesting letters-to-the-editor from the Winnipeg Free Press.

In Save public health care (Sept. 24), Maryann Krouse writes an
excellent missive attacking the shortcomings in U.S. health care with
which we are so familiar. She then reveals she is Canadian, her husband
is a physician and they live in Texas. She appears not to have come to
an obvious conclusion: She wants Canadian health care, he's a practising
physician and we need doctors. Why not return and solve their problems
in one fell swoop?

Save public health care
Fellow Canadians, I write you as a now permanent resident of the U.S. to
warn you to protect your precious national/provincial health-care
systems. Do not let them start eroding your health-care system. I lived
in Canada for 50 years, taking for granted what I had. Since I have been
in the U.S., I have been unable to secure health care. I am not
unhealthy, but I've been rejected because I haven't seen a doctor in the
U.S.A. for two years. (Since when is that a bad thing?) Once you have a
rejection on your file no one will sell you health care but you can
qualify for the high-risk pool and pay about $700 a month for a type of
high-deductible health care. Our daughter was rejected by the insurance
companies because she wears a hearing aid, but the real reason (which
they aren't allowed to say) is that 11 years ago she had cancer of which
she is now fully cured. But that doesn't matter. They don't want to
cover her for anything regardless. She is 11 years old and has no
health-care coverage at the moment. I am not poor as my husband is a
self-employed physician. Yes, you read that right. I am married to a
doctor and can't get health care. Tests and lab work are outrageously
expensive. Oh, by the way, my husband got rejected as well because he
was labelled by the insurance companies as a self-treating physician.
This is because he wrote himself a refill for a psoriasis cream one
weekend when he was out of what his dermatologist had prescribed. A
friend in her 60s just lost her husband, but prior to his death, she was
facing a decision in which she might have to divorce him so that he
would be poor enough to get public health care. His insurance expired
after one year of incapacity and they were expecting her to pay full
costs of his extended care, which would have put her in the poor house
for her old age had he required full-time care for a few years. You have
to sign away your assets five years prior to an illness to avoid this
situation. Retirees here are now finding that their retirement medical
plans are being cancelled. It's too expensive to keep them alive, I
guess. Police officers hurt on the job run out of benefits and have to
sell their cars and downgrade their homes to pay their health-care
Do not vote for any kind of two-tiered system. Don't erode what you
have. Don't be foolish. Doctors like the idea because it gives them an
opportunity to make more money. Please don't be gullible. You have no
idea what it's like living without the health care you now take for
granted and depend on.
Mansfield, Texas

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