I've recently been debating the whole "US vs. Canadian healthcare" system recently, with some friends and some Internet strangers.
And apparently, I know nothing about my own heathcare system. (According to one blogger anyway.)
You see, I'm almost 40 years old. I've lived in 6 different cities/towns/villages in two different provinces. I know people in almost every province (except PEI) and even in two of the territories. I have met literally thousands of people through work and volunteer efforts, from all tax brackets, from very rich to very poor. I know surgeons, doctors, and nurses.
I personally know Canadians who have or had breast cancer, a brain tumor, skin cancer, hip replacement, knee replacement, pace makers, organ transplants, gall bladder removal, leg amputation, high-risk pregnancy, cataracts, hernias, lung cancer, stomach cancer, heart attack, stroke, infectious diseases by the boat load...
And not ONE OF THEM HAS EVER COMPLAINED ABOUT THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM. Or wait times. Or the "fact" they couldn't choose their own doctor (an outright lie, BTW). Or anything, really. Sure, they may bitch about waiting around the ER for a few hours until they are seen for a non-emergency issue. And they may bitch about a particular doctor/nurse/technician (ask me about my "viral infection of the cartilage" one day, or the nurse that insisted on drawing blood from my right arm instead of my left, since she couldn't believe a young child actually knew which of her veins was better choice, having had to give blood every 3-4 months for years at that point). But that isn't a product of our system, simply human nature and the medical profession and system as a whole.
But my offering that up as evidence that our system does actually function is paltry compared to the clip someone once saw about some Canadian who had to go to the US or they would have died!! And that we as a country have nothing to compare our system to, so we cannot make valid comparisons (the hypocrisy of that statement is apparently missed by those who make it).
I have absolutely nothing to say about the US heathcare system - it is NONE of my concern. But I do get annoyed when misinformation about my country is used to argue the matter. One would hope that the debate could be done on it's own merits, but apparently not. All one has to do is look at the rumor that the 9-11 terrorists came from Canada that is still floating around - and is still believed by some high-ranking US politicians - to realize that facts are unimportant in the game of one-upmanship and point scoring that is politics.