Republican Party

Pence Makes A Fool of Himself As He Tries to Demonize Canadian Healthcare

Poor Mike Pence. Trump’s tantrums over the repeated failed efforts to pass increasingly barbaric versions of Trumpcare, must be getting on his nerves.

So much so that Pence has taken to scaring people with lies about Canada’s healthcare system. After all, why would anyone want access to medical treatment when they need it, when one can enjoy the features of Trumpcare: co-pays, being blackballed by insurers because you need medical treatment, worrying about bankruptcy, dreading the prospect of telling your child, sorry we just can’t afford the chemo that will save your life.

“You know, somewhere in between where I’m sitting in Washington, D.C., and Alaska, is a place called Canada. I probably don’t need to tell the people in Alaska about the failings of national socialized health care because it’s right in our neighbour and you see the results every day.”

Ok let’s start at the beginning. For years, Republicans erroneously described Obamacare as “government healthcare.” In fact, Obamacare was a Heritage Foundation plan, that Republicans loved until Barack Obama became president. The only thing that changed is a Black, Democrat supported it.

It’s a compromise between a purist version of for profit health care and a publically financed system.

For years Republicans have scared people with words like “rationing” and “government run” healthcare where all healthcare is owned by the government.

That’s not how the Canadian healthcare system works. Doctors have private practices, while most hospitals are publicly owned. Canadians pay premiums to their provincial insurance provider. Co-pays are minimal – usually for certain prescription drugs. Patients can choose their own doctors, and they can choose between generic and name brand prescription drugs. If there’s an emergency, there isn’t a financial background check before you’re admitted for treatment in a hospital. All it takes is having your Health Insurance card.

There are no surprise bills that exceed your income for the next decade.

When it comes to elective treatments, there can be a wait period because medically necessary treatment is prioritized. In short, a person with a heart attack will get treated immediately in an emergency room. You might have to wait for that cosmetic plastic surgery.

But here is where Pence attack gets truly absurd. Canadians live longer and they don’t pay as much for quality healthcare.

Based on the World Health Organization’s statistics for 2016, the average Canadian’s life expectancy at birth is 82.2 years. Ours is 79.3 years.

According to the World Bank, the United States is one of the most expensive countries in the world, when it comes to per capita healthcare costs. In 2016, we paid $9,146 per person or 17.1% of our GDP. Canada spent about half that: $4506 according to the OECD.

I’ll let Pence in on a little secret. Living longer and doing it less expensively is sort of the goal of a good healthcare system.

Adalia Woodbury

Former contributor.

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