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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Mar 19, 2019 2:18 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
I too have difficultly equating higher taxes for less care and far longer waits with 'superior'. Perhaps it's the aspirations, not the reality, being equated with superior. Perhaps the idea that all are guaranteed the same problems equally  is the superior part. My plan is "free at point of delivery", (the dodge we hear frequently)  and it's premiums *plus* my tax burden is still less than I'd pay into the superior system to the north. On the other hand, my abdominal surgery a few years ago involved a week long wait.

The nice Canadian lady I was dating during my last visit planned to move to the States following her son's graduation. Her reasons were basically those listed in the linked article.

My take - vacation in The Great White North, but move somewhere else in the US more in keeping with your goals




Yea, IMO, America, in spite of it's drawbacks, is still by far the greatest country on Earth.

It's all about taking the good with the bad, there is no perfect or even safe place to live.

Make the best choices you can and let the chips fall where they may.

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Anne Elk
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PostTue Mar 19, 2019 2:48 pm 
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The most accurate observation in that article is re the cost of food and consumer goods.  Some Canadians used to tell me, "But our wages are higher, too." That might be true, but I was never convinced the differences were proportional.  My Canadian immigrant friend in Redmond has a sister in Langley who retired a couple years ago and downsized to a condo.  She bought a bunch of her new condo furniture down here, it was cheaper despite the import tariffs - and on at least one occasion, the Canadian customs official just waved her thru (go figure).  It's also why Canadians clog the Bellingham Costco & Trader Joe's - maybe less so now that the dollar is strong against the loonie again.

With a population of 37M (versus our 327M), it makes sense that there would be lots of competition for good jobs, but much depends on the profession.  Try to make contact somehow with Canadian professionals in your field and find out what the demand is in the province where you want to live, and the pay scales. 

Re health care - certain things that are not emergencies - like a knee replacement - you're going to wait.  But critical issues - like cancer, a heart attack, etc - you will get seen. Re all the things that aren't covered - well - unless you have a US gold-plated plan, you're not going to get dental, eyeglasses, etc covered here, either.

I read through the reader comments to the article  I think the big surprise for many immigrants is none of them realized until they got here how hard North Americans work to get what we have - and Canada is a lot more like the USA than Europe, where there's lots of mandated holiday time. Supposedly most of Europe (or at least France) virtually shuts down in August.  I'd bet Japanese migrants fit right in.

I have several friends in Canada who immigrated in the late 60's and 70's and integrated very well.  They'd likely have a harder time now, with their liberal arts and natural science degrees.   I'm going to send all the Canadians in my circle a cc of this article and see what they think about its accuracy.  Thanks for putting it up, Iron.
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue Mar 19, 2019 4:13 pm 
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There have been a lot of misstatements in this thread regarding health care. We have experienced both Lynda broke her collarbone in five places trail running in Ottawa requiring two surgeries. Two births in US prior to ACA. She also had surgery in Washington state after emergency care in California. In both case we had upper middle class income and excellent insurance (supplemental in Canada free Optic and Dental)

First thing  to remember in Canada health care is done by the province so it is better in richer provinces BC and ON than than poorer ones NWT and Yukon. In the US states also matter especially if you are lower income in a state which has not adopted ACA expansions.

In both emergency care was similar, crowded emergency rooms, some frustrations, but generally satisfactory under the circumstances. Lynda was some dissatisfied with process in both countries. Hospitals seemed more crowded in Canada and waits for non emergency services.

I would say care for us was somewhat superior in the US. In Canada we had the same care a destitute person would have which would be clearly far superior to the care such a person would have in the US. In Canada we paid nothing in the US copays would have been at least tens of thousands of dollars. A low income person would have to go bankrupt and would probably be left with permanent deformity. In Canada it greatly helps if you have a private doctor, rather than resort to clinics this involves some hassle but no additional cost.

As far as taxes they are somewhat higher than the US but not outrageously. If the cost of medical insurance is added in. In both countries stock options, tax free investment plans, and retirement benefits allow sheltering upper incomes from some taxes. There are few really poor people except First Nations in Canada, in the US poor are a substantial and growing portion of the population.

In conclusion For us Canada and the US were similar but for most working people Canada would be far superior.

It is as ridiculous to say which is better anymore than to say if a apple is better than an orange.

Tom you can delete this if you think it is too political.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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MtnGoat
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PostTue Mar 19, 2019 5:25 pm 
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It's been remarkably civil and bears directly on moving to Canada, so... up.gif

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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Mar 19, 2019 6:07 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
It's been remarkably civil and bears directly on moving to Canada, so... up.gif

I am still waiting for Whoopie, Rosie O'Donnell, Jon Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, Samuel L Jackson, Sienna Miller, George Lopez, et all...to move to Canada, which they said they would if a certain person won the election in 2016.

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Backpacker Joe
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PostTue Mar 19, 2019 8:39 pm 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
MtnGoat wrote:
It's been remarkably civil and bears directly on moving to Canada, so... up.gif

I am still waiting for Whoopie, Rosie O'Donnell, Jon Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, Samuel L Jackson, Sienna Miller, George Lopez, et all...to move to Canada, which they said they would if a certain person won the election in 2016.

up.gif

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Tom
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PostTue Mar 19, 2019 8:46 pm 
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Check the political spray at the door please.
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neek
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PostWed Mar 20, 2019 9:38 am 
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Well, the World Happiness Report is out for 2019.  I haven't read it yet but hope to over the next few days, particularly the section called The Sad State of Happiness in the United States and the Role of Digital Media.  Canada came in at #9 (down from #7 in the 2018 report) in happiness over the past few years; U.S. is #19 (down from #18).  (Note, the researchers who produced the report are based in Canada.)  In the end, happiness is what we're really after, so who really cares about the details of taxes, healthcare, etc.  I'd take the Backcountry Canada Travel article with some skepticism - you have to grow your own food there because they don't require GMO labeling?
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MtnGoat
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PostWed Mar 20, 2019 11:43 am 
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Because the details of how they measure happiness, and from what perspective, innately matter.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Chief Joseph
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PostWed Mar 20, 2019 5:29 pm 
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I can see Canada from my house! That's close enough. There is a cool, pretty remote hike to a waterfall on the Priest River that is really close to Canada, great primitive camp spots, lots of critters and a few fish. ...but there is no road going in. For that I have to go to Bonner's Ferry and north.

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Backpacker Joe
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PostWed Mar 20, 2019 8:08 pm 
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I dont see the problem.  If Iron wants to move to Canada he just needs to make LOTS of money!  It happens.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

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CC
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PostWed Mar 27, 2019 10:42 am 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
Adohrn wrote:
So the health care system is not perfect.  Yep I would still say that it is cheaper, and far superior system than what most people have in this country.

Not in my experience. Since I retired early and my pension is below $1300 per month, I qualify for free Medicaid Healthcare, nearly all my prescriptions are free, and I have no co-pays within the Provider Network. I also have free dental (although the choices are very limited) and they only pay for basic care. How is it "Far Superior" when Canadians have to wait up to two years for a surgical procedure?

"The Canada Health Act does not cover prescription drugs, home care or long-term care, prescription glasses or dental care. Costs for prescription drugs come out of your own pocket unless you have extended Health Insurance. Lots of people can only afford extended insurance when it’s paid by their employer. And, learn to be patient; it’s not unusual to be on a two-year waiting list until you get surgery. People who have the money often go to the US to have surgery done. The Canadian health system sucks big time, but that’s material for another blog.".

So basically you are saying that our single-payer system is better than Canada's single-payer system.  Are you then you are in favor of medicade-for-all in US?

As for other opinions of who has best health care system:

In a ranking of the healthcare systems of 11 developed counties, both Canada and US  did poorly, 10th and 11th respectively https://www.internationalinsurance.com/health/systems/.  Interestingly, the country which ranked 1st, UK, is one of the few counties with actual “socialized medicine,” i.e. the health care facilities are owned by the government and the healthcare practitioners are government employees.

In a ranking of 100 countries by world heath organization (same link), Canada and US were mediocre, 30th and 37th respectively.  They did, however, beat out Cuba (39th), but at much higher per capita costs https://getpocket.com/explore/item/how-cubans-live-as-long-as-americans-at-a-tenth-of-the-cost.

So by these rankings Canada and US healthcare systems are roughly the same, averaged over socioeconomic status.  Obviously, on an individual basis there can be vast differences.   Here is a rebuttal of some of the common complaints about Canadian system http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/in-defense-of-canada/.

Finally, an anecdotal comment re wait times in US.  A relative of mine in Spokane got a referral to a specialist from her PCP a few weeks ago.  The first opening (among several specialists) was in August.

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Chief Joseph
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PostWed Mar 27, 2019 5:06 pm 
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CC wrote:
So basically you are saying that our single-payer system is better than Canada's single-payer system.  Are you then you are in favor of medicade-for-all in US?

All I am saying is that it works for me, I am far from an expect on the program, I have only been on it for 33 months, prior to that I had insurance through my labor union. After retiring and going on Medicaid, I was able to keep my same doctor/s (Everett Clinic) that I have used for 25+ years.

I would have preferred to stay on my union insurance plan (which doesn't include dental for retirees-retail clerks) but due to economic events in the years for 2001-2016 (mainly 911 and the housing market bubble bust) and that my pension is tied up in Mutual Funds, my pension was much less than expected. As I said, the good thing is that I qualify for medicaid-dental and most prescriptions and no cost to me, so obviously I am so far happy with my plan.

As far as "Am I in favor for Medicaid for all?"...I am not sure that it's economically feasible to have everyone who doesn't have insurance through employment to qualify. I like the sliding scale where you pay according to your income. I am not however, in favor of people being forced to purchase Health Care or be fined for not having it.

I suppose some will say, "Well, you can't have it both ways". But as I said, I am far from an expert on this issue.

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PostWed Mar 27, 2019 9:24 pm 
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It's really sad that the best choice of where to live has come down to health care choices. This is what the pharma and medical industries have done to us. I remember a time when the cost of medical insurance was insignificant compared to other costs of living. It wasn't that long ago.
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PostWed Mar 27, 2019 10:00 pm 
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20+ years ago I briefly worked as an actuary pricing health insurance.  Back then it never made sense to me why health insurance inflation outpaced general inflation so dramatically.  I recall medical trend being in the range of 20% per year.  Crazy.  It shouldn't be sustainable but for whatever reason it is, albeit lower than it was.  Pharma industry?  Have prescription costs really increased that much?  If anything our plan seems to offer less coverage each year so you would think pharma cost would be controlled.  Medical industry?  That's fairly broad.  I'm not sure what that means.  Healthcare inflation is a challenge globally so not as if any one country has figured it out.

Edit: Here is Aon's 2019 report:

https://www.aon.com/getmedia/0c375f10-3b16-4d2d-a452-4ae86968525b/2019-Global-Medical-Trend-Report.pdf.aspx

They seem to conclude drivers are: "Global population aging, overall declining health, poor lifestyle habits, cost shifting from social programs, and increasing utilization of employer sponsored plans"
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