I found two interesting studies from Canada’s Angus Reid Institute describing single payer health care in Canada. I’m very interested in find out what things are like in countries that have true government-run health care. A typical Canadian family pays $13,000+ per year per household for healthcare, or about $585,000 over their working lives. What are they getting for all that money?
The study finds more than 2 million Canadians aged 55 and older face significant barriers when accessing the health care system in their province, such as being unable to find a family doctor or experiencing lengthy wait-times for surgery, diagnostic tests, or specialist visits.
Moreover, most Canadians in this age group have at least some difficulty getting the care they want or need in a timely manner.
The study focuses on the health care experiences of older Canadians, as well as their assessments of the quality of care they receive.
According to the article, 31% of respondents (aged 55 and older) rated access to the government’s healthcare system as “easy”. 48% had “moderate” problems with access, and 21% had “major” problems with access.
Remember: in the Canadian system, you pay your money up front in taxes, and then they decide how much healthcare you will get later – and how soon you will get it. If you worked from ages 20 to age 65, then your household will have paid 45 x $13,000 = $585,000 into the system, in order to get “moderate” problems with accessing healthcare after you’re aged 55.
And the Canadian system DOES NOT cover prescription drugs.
This second part of the study finds one-in-six Canadians (17%) in the 55-plus age group – a figure that represents upwards of 1.8 million people – say that they or someone else in their household have taken prescription drugs in a way other than prescribed because of cost.
One-in-ten (10%) have decided to simply not fill a prescription because it was too expensive, and a similar number (9%) have decided not to renew one for the same reason. One-in-eight (12%) have taken steps to stretch their prescriptions, such as cutting pills or skipping doses.
Some 17 per cent of Canadians 55 and older have done at least one of these things, and that proportion rises among those who have greater difficulty accessing other aspects of the health care system.
In a previous blog post, I reported on how Canadians have to wait in order to see their GP doctor. If that doctor refers them to a specialist, then they have to wait to see the specialist. And if that specialist schedules surgery, then they have to wait for their surgery appointment. The delays can easily go from weeks to months and even years. The MEDIAN delay from GP referral to treatment is 19.5 weeks.
But remember – they paid into the system FIRST. The decisions about when and if they will be treated are made later, by experts in the government. This is what it means for a government monopoly to run health care. There are no free exchanges of money for service in a competitive free market. Costs are controlled by delaying and withholding treatment. And no one knows this better than elderly Canadians themselves. But by the time they realize how badly they’ve been swindled, it’s too late to get their money back out. You can’t pull your tax money out of government if you are disappointed with the service you receive. There are no refunds. There are no returns.
I get into conversations about politics with my co-workers about who they like in the 2020 election. And I also ask them which particular policies of the candidates they like best. The one they like most is Medicare for All, with “for All” including illegal immigrants. When I ask them which country has got Medicare for All working, they say “Canada”. Let’s take a look at Canada’s health care system.
Here’s a nice article from Mona Charen, posted in TownHall.
It’s true that all Canadian citizens and legal residents (though not immigrants there illegally) get “free” health care, but only in the sense that you don’t get a bill after seeing a doctor or visiting a hospital. Medical care is subsidized by taxes, but the price comes in another form as well — rationing. A 2018 report from the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, found that wait times between seeing a general practitioner and a specialist average 19.8 weeks. That’s the average. There are variations among specialties. Those hoping to see an orthopedist wait an average of 39 weeks in Nova Scotia, while those seeking an oncologist wait about 3.8 weeks.
[…]Imagine the anxiety of learning that you need an MRI to find out whether the mass in your breast is anything to worry about and then being told that the next available appointment is in 10 weeks. In addition to the psychic price, Canadians who had to wait for treatment expended an average of $1,822 out of pocket last year, due to lost wages and other costs. The Fraser Institute also calculated the value of the lost productivity of those waiting for treatment — nearly $5,600 per patient, totaling $5.8 billion nationally.
[…]When there’s an artificial shortage of a good or service, a black market usually follows. I have heard from several Canadians that paying doctors bribes to jump the line is not uncommon. But Canada has another pressure reliever: Ninety percent of Canadians live within 90 miles of the U.S. border, and medical centers in Buffalo, Chicago, Rochester and elsewhere receive tens of thousands of Canadian patients every year.
Regarding that last point, I’ve written many times about socialist politicians in Canada electing to travel to the United States for care, and that’s because (as you might expect) health care outcomes for Canadians are vastly inferior to health care outcomes for Americans. And keep in mind that the delay from specialist to GP does not take into account the delay to see the GP, or the delay from seeing the specialist to actually getting treatment.
And how much are Canadians spending for the privilege of waiting 19.8 weeks to see a specialist? Well, the average cost of Canadian health care is about $13,000 per household per year, paid through taxes. What that means is that people who work pay for all the health care being provided, including the health care for people who don’t work. But when it’s time to get treatment, those who pay the bills get in line behind those who don’t pay anything.
So how good is American health care? Maybe Canadians are waiting in line because their health care is so much better than ours.
American health care
One of the best health care policy experts writing today is Avik Roy, who writes for Forbes magazine.
Here is a recent column, which I think is useful for helping us all get better at debating health care policy.
If you really want to measure health outcomes, the best way to do it is at the point of medical intervention. If you have a heart attack, how long do you live in the U.S. vs. another country? If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer? In 2008, a group of investigators conducted a worldwide study of cancer survival rates, called CONCORD. They looked at 5-year survival rates for breast cancer, colon and rectal cancer, and prostate cancer. I compiled their data for the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, and western Europe. Guess who came out number one?
Some people like to point out that the United States has a low life expectancy, but there’s a problem with those numbers.
The article continues:
Another point worth making is that people die for other reasons than health. For example, people die because of car accidents and violent crime. A few years back, Robert Ohsfeldt of Texas A&M and John Schneider of the University of Iowa asked the obvious question: what happens if you remove deaths from fatal injuries from the life expectancy tables? Among the 29 members of the OECD, the U.S. vaults from 19th place to…you guessed it…first. Japan, on the same adjustment, drops from first to ninth.
It’s great that the Japanese eat more sushi than we do, and that they settle their arguments more peaceably. But these things don’t have anything to do with socialized medicine.
Finally, U.S. life-expectancy statistics are skewed by the fact that the U.S. doesn’t have one health-care system, but three: Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance. (A fourth, the Obamacare exchanges, is supposed to go into effect in 2014.) As I have noted in the past, health outcomes for those on government-sponsored insurance are worse than for those on private insurance.
To my knowledge, no one has attempted to segregate U.S. life-expectancy figures by insurance status. But based on the data we have, it’s highly likely that those on private insurance have the best life expectancy, with Medicare patients in the middle, and the uninsured and Medicaid at the bottom.
If we’re going to discuss health care, then let’s discuss facts. We shouldn’t be picking a health care system from the campaign speeches of politicians who tell us that we can keep our doctor, and keep our health plan, and our premiums will go down. We tried electing a charismatic deceiver in 2008, and it didn’t work out. We lost our doctors, lost our health plans, and our premiums went up astronomically. We can do better than single-payer health care. We can do better than socialism.
I try to stay informed about countries that are more advanced on the path of secular leftism, such as Canada and Venezuela. Canada is about 10 years ahead of us down the path of secular leftism. They legalized same-sex marriage 10 years before we did. They started persecuting Christian businesses 10 years before we did. And now they’re arresting Christian pastors.
Pastor David Lynn of Christ Forgiveness Ministries was arrested on June 4, 2019 for preaching the Gospel publicly in Toronto, Canada. The neighborhood he was preaching in was Church-Wellesley Village. This neighborhood is known to be a place where many of the LGBTQ community in Toronto reside. His ministry is currently on an outdoor preaching tour throughout the 22 districts of Toronto. June 4, happened to be the day they scheduled for that district.
It is not uncommon for someone to think “open-air preaching” and “LGBTQ neighborhood” and immediately jump to thoughts of preachers condemning homosexuals to hell. However, Pastor Lynn’s preaching was some of the most loving and gracious preaching I have ever seen and heard. Which is why it is outrageous that he was arrested.
You can even watch the whole video here:
The entire time of preaching was livestreamed via Facebook and can be found on YouTube. Throughout the video, it is surprising to see the reaction of those who were listening to Lynn’s preaching. The more love he poured out, the more hate and resistance he received. As anyone can see if they view the video, Pastor Lynn was respectful and kind throughout all of his time preaching. As he shared the Gospel, he also made statements like “We are here to tell you that we hate nobody.” He emphasized God’s love again and again.
He proceeded to ask those protesting him if they would be willing to tolerate him as a Christian. But those listening were unwilling to dialogue, and many asked him to leave the street corner.
Throughout the encounter he was very calm and collected, not entering into any disrespectful or condemnatory dialogue.
Canada does have hate speech laws. However, there is no way that his preaching could be deemed as hate-speech. Lynn stated while preaching, “Everyone is accepted….and that is what we preach as Christians.”
This pastor was very careful to avoid singling out any particular group as “sinful”. Instead, he said that everyone is sinful, and everyone needs forgiveness for their sin. That is the standard Christian view.
In order to not make anyone listening feel singled out, he said “Jesus died for the sinner…. Every heterosexual has sin. Every homosexual has sin. Sin is when we violate the laws of God….” He did not target any particular group of people or single out homosexuality.
He was assaulted by the people who disagreed with him, but the police didn’t arrest them – they arrested him:
Though he was very loving throughout the entire encounter, tensions escalated, and people began to form a mob of protest around him. As he tried to walk away from the most adamant protesters, they crowded in on him and would not let him move. All throughout the encounter, as he tried to walk away from them, they pressed in on him and blocked him. At times, they even pressed their bodies against him, which in technicality is assault.
When the police arrived, rather than dealing with those that were assaulting Pastor Lynn, the police blamed Lynn for creating a disturbance of peace. Even upon his request to deal with those who had assaulted him, the police would not listen to him.
You can clearly see that in Canada, the police don’t care about basic human rights. Those policemen have been taught secular leftism. They don’t know anything about “human rights”. They only know that to keep their jobs, they must do as the secular leftists in power tell them. The laws are not based on morality. The laws are based on the need for the secular leftist elites to be able to do what they need to do without anyone disagreeing with them. The police aren’t the guardians of the moral law, they’re just hired muscle there to enforce the will of the secular left.
Rights like free speech and religious liberty DO NOT EXIST in Canada. Christians and conservatives have a duty to pay taxes to their secular left overlords, but they don’t have a right to disagree with their secular left overlords. They don’t have a right to live their lives as Christians, and run their families as Christians. If they try to act like Christians, then they wind up in front of a Human Rights Commission, or a criminal court, or in a jail cell.
And there is no freedom of the press in Canada. If a Canadian tries to expose any of the abuses of human rights to the public, the courts will send the police to their door to arrest them. You see, they want to suppress the human rights of those who disagree with them, but they don’t want anyone to know about it. They want people to believe that Canada is as free as the United States, so they don’t want reports about their heavy-handed totalitarianism to get out to the rest of the world. This suppression of the truth by force has always been the standard operating procedure of the secular left – in every country where they have seized power.
If you don’t want this for America, then you have to vote against the secular left, and do your part to persuade others not to vote for them.
This story of a transgender child in the left-leaning province of British Columbia shows what the political left would do in America if they were in power. In a previous post, I reported on how the public schools, the government-run health care system, and the government-run courts all conspired to give the child testosterone injections, over the father’s objections.
Last week, Justice Francesca Marzari of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada, declared a father guilty of “family violence” against his 14-year-old daughter on the sole basis that he had engaged in “expressions of rejection of [her] gender identity.” These “expressions” revolved entirely around his polite refusal to refer to his daughter as a boy in private, and his steady choice to affirm that she is a girl in public.
[…]Her father, Clark*, strongly objects to this treatment and immediately sought to reverse the decision in the BC Court of Appeal. Hoping to raise awareness of his case, Clark gave a number of interviews to media outlets, including The Federalist. In these interviews, he repeatedly referred to his daughter as a girl, stating to The Federalist that “she is a girl. Her DNA will not change through all these experiments that they do.”
While many might take this to be an honest statement of biological fact, Marzari quoted it as a prime example of Clark’s “family violence of a public denial of [Maxine’s] gender identity.” Marzari convicted Clark of this violence, and issued a “protection order” preventing him from speaking to journalists or the public about his case.
[…]What Marzari found particularly egregious, however, was not Clark’s private interactions with his daughter but his “continued willingness to provide interviews to the media … in which he identifies [Maxine] as female, uses a female name for [Maxine] … and expresses his opposition to the therapies [Maxine] has chosen.” According to the court, this willingness placed Maxine at “a significant risk of harm.”
[…]Marzari argued that the “people and organizations” to whom Clark granted interviews had shown themselves “fundamentally opposed” to transgender ideology, yet Clark “continued to support the media organizations posting his commentary with additional interviews.” This kind of attitude was, in Marzari’s view, justification for enjoining Clark from sharing any information with journalists—or with practically anyone outside his legal team—about his daughter’s “sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical health, medical status or therapies.”
The court also emphasized that Clark must not allow relevant documents (petitions, affidavits, letters, court orders, etc.) to come into the hands of third parties not “authorized by order of this court,” or with “written consent” from his daughter.
At about the same time that story was published, the Supreme Court issued an additional, more heavy-handed “protection order” from the same ruling. The three-page document declares that the father, Clark*, will henceforth be subject to arrest, immediately and “without warrant” if any police officer has “reasonable” grounds to believe that he has in any way referred to his daughter as a girl in public or in private.
The new order further stipulated not only that Clark must not discuss his daughter’s sex or gender identity in public, but also that he cannot share court documents describing his own gag order. On the one hand, this demand may seem ironic, since it covers a publicly available court ruling. On the other hand, the injunction is so broad that it naturally includes the very document upon which it is written and that document–with its threats of immediate arrest without warrant–has not, as of yet, been made available on the court’s website.
So you have an anti-science judge, who is paid by the tax dollars of this father, overruling him as the biological father, and imposing her own far-left opinions as law. Why would any moral Christian man marry and start a family in Canada, when immoral far-left atheist leftists can take his money for their salary, and then overrule his basic human rights and parental authority? No free man would live in a country that treats him like a slave. Unfortunately, men are treated like slaves in Canada. The only solution is to get out.
It’s not surprising that the courts would censor him from speaking to the news media. In Canada, the government is run by radical secular leftists, who see any speech critical of the secular left agenda as potential violence. So, for decades in Canada, the government and the courts have issued gag orders on pro-life activists, and they even imprison those who speak out against abortion and same-sex marriage. Nurses and doctors who expose abortion extremism and infanticide are regularly censored b the government and the courts, for example. There is nothing like the first amendment in Canada. On the contrary. The progressives in government have made “offensive speech” a criminal offense.
While the main thrust of Marzari’s ruling focused on Clark’s public statements, Marzari also ordered that Clark be enjoined from “exposing” Maxine to any materials that might “question whether [her] gender identity is real or the treatments [she] seeks are in [her] best interests.”
Well, enough of that. Let’s talk about the legal system in Canada.
Although the university system is funded in part by pro-life and pro-marriage taxpayers through mandatory taxes, the law schools are effectively closed to Christians or conservatives. If any manage to get through law school, then they are barred from practicing law. And of course it’s impossible for anyone right of center to be appointed to a government position on the courts, because of discrimination and bias.
There is no free speech or freedom of thought in Canada
This article about religious liberty in Canada is from Vancouver Sun.
Ontario’s top court has dismissed an appeal from a private Christian university that forbids sexual intimacy outside heterosexual marriage, denying its proposed law school accreditation in the province.
The key point about the code of conduct is that it doesn’t discriminate against any particular group, e.g. – LGBT. It also forbids excessive drinking and premarital sex by heterosexuals:
It includes requiring students to abstain from gossip, obscene language, prejudice, harassment, lying, cheating, stealing, pornography, drunkenness and sexual intimacy “that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”
Now read this next part carefully. Although there was no legal support for denying a Christian university religious liberty and freedom of association, there was the hurt feelings of the LGBTQ community:
“The part of TWU’s Community Covenant in issue in this appeal is deeply discriminatory to the LGBTQ community, and it hurts,” the appeal court ruling said. “The LSUC’s decision not to accredit TWU was indeed a reasonable conclusion.”
In Canada “it hurts” means the end of human rights like religious liberty and freedom of association. Why? Because the Christian community in Canada has – for decades – voted to increase the size of government at the expense of liberty, in order to get free stuff. It doesn’t matter if the Christians who wanted a Christian university are hurt. Or that the Christian students at TWU are hurt. Only the hurt of the LGBT community matters, and their hurt changes laws, criminalizes dissent and annihilates natural rights. There are no such things as freedom of religion and freedom of conscience in Canada. There never was free speech, either. Anything that might hurt the feelings of left-wing groups has to be made criminal.
I’ll put this as plainly as anyone can: Canadian “Christians” have been voting to transfer wealth and power to a big secular government for years. They wanted government to cover health care, and now the government thinks that health care is providing free sex changes, free IVF and free abortions. Canadian “Christians” wanted their 30 pieces of silver more than they wanted the freedom to act as if the Bible was true in public. It turns out that the more wealth and power that you transfer to a secular leftist government, the more likely they are to trample all over the basic human rights of anyone who disagrees with their ideology.
This sort of thing happens all the time in Canada. Remember the case where another female judge overruled a biological father who grounded his daughter for sending nude pictures of herself using her father’s computer? This is normal in Canada, where biological fathers are competent enough to pay taxes, but not competent enough to parent their own children.
If any of this sounds unappealing to you, remember this at election time. The only way to stop the fascism of the secular left is to elect small-government conservatives who respect the basic human rights in our Constitution, such as the right to free speech and religious liberty. If you want to keep these rights, you will have to vote appropriately, and encourage others to vote appropriately.
Yesterday, I blogged about how progressive politicians and public school administrators allied in order to promote gay activist policies to young children in the state of Ontario, in Canada. I also mentioned how their child sex education curriculum was designed by a convicted pedophile. But they’re not the only state pushing gay activism against the parents who pay their salaries.
The Federalist first reported on the story in the last week of February:
Clark* first found out that his 12-year-old daughter Maxine was being treated as a boy by her school when he saw her new name in her class’s grade seven yearbook. “Quinn” was the new name her counselor had helped her pick out, and Maxine’s school district in Delta, British Columbia, Canada, had decided that “Quinn” should be treated, for all intents and purposes, as a boy.
The district apparently felt justified in leaving Maxine’s father completely out of the loop. Maxine’s school district was operating by the BC Ministry of Education’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Policy, according to which Clark had no right to know his daughter’s “preferred sex, gender, or name” at school.
Keep in mind that the policies of schools in Canada are often developed in conjunction with gay rights groups, who are consulted first, so that the schools can avoid costly “discrimination” lawsuits from gay rights lawyers later on.
Maxine’s counselors at school … referred Maxine and her mother, Sarah, to a “Dr.” Wallace Wong — a psychologist and LGBT activist who predictably decided that Maxine should be referred to a children’s hospital for testosterone injections when she was only 13. Not to be outdone, the children’s hospital asked Maxine’s parents for permission to begin injecting Maxine with testosterone on her very first visit. Clark said no and refused to sign.
From the middle of August until October, the hospital worked Clark over, trying to get his consent. When he finally refused, the hospital dropped a bombshell threat: simply put, they declared that they didn’t need Clark’s or Sarah’s permission for that matter. In a letter mailed December 1, 2018, Dr. Brenden Hursh informed Clark that they would begin treatment on Maxine in two weeks, without Clark’s consent. BC Children’s Hospital believed Maxine was a “mature minor,” who could receive treatment against the wishes of both her parents, according to section 17 of the BC Infants Act.
Well, as you can see, the school teachers, school administrators, courts and hospital doctors (all taxpayer-funded actors), are anxious to get started on “treating” the child with drugs. Only the parent is in the way. I guess he thinks that he should be trusted to raise his own child as he sees fit, rather than to just pay the salaries of these public sector agents and then let them decide for him.
In Canada, people are seen as competent enough to earn money, but not competent enough to spend their money as they see fit. A (large) portion of taxpayer’s income is taken from them in the form of mandatory taxes, and it is then given to teachers, education bureaucrats, hospital administrators and courts in order to regulate their choices to be more in line with progressive values.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada ordered that a 14-year-old girl receive testosterone injections without parental consent. The court also declared that if either of her parents referred to her using female pronouns or addressed her by her birth name, they would be considered guilty of family violence.
As previously reported, Maxine* was encouraged by her school counselor in BC’s Delta School District to identify as a boy while in seventh grade. When Maxine was 13 years old, Dr. Brenden Hursh and his colleagues at BC Children’s Hospital decided that Maxine should begin taking testosterone injections in order to develop a more masculine appearance.
Keep in mind that because the money for health care is extracted from taxpayers before they choose their medical treatment, taxpayers have no right to decide what treatments they will and will not get. It’s the politicians and the hospital administrators who decide. This is what single-payer health care means. You pay your income to the government, and the government decides whether you will be treated, when you will be treated, and even what treatments are appropriate for you. And if you disagree with that, there is no opt-out, except to leave the country. Although they might interpret your disapproval of their decision-making on parenting issues as a “mental illness”, and prescribe you with appropriate treatments for that – e.g. – confining you to a mental institution where your rebellion against the rule of bureaucrats can receive the proper medical attention.
Ontario passed a law Thursday that gives the government the right to take away children from families that don’t accept their kid’s chosen “gender identity.”
Parents who oppose or criticize the LGBT agenda will be considered potential “child abusers” and may have their children taken away by the state, according to the new bill. If the parents are ruled to be abusers by failing to wholeheartedly support their child’s gender choice, that child “can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.”
[…]The old law allowed parents to “direct the child’s education and religious upbringing” but now says a parent must influence a child’s education and upbringing “in accordance with the child’s or young person’s creed, community identity and cultural identity.”
That bill passed 63-23. So you can imagine what sort of sympathy you could expect from Canadians as a whole if you dissented from this law.