Canada Day

It is traditional for me to say a little something about the great country I live in on its birthday, and there’s no reason for this year to be an exception.  (There are previous years, if you want to click on them: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.)

This year is a quiet Canada Day for us, and so I would like to say just two things.  First, because yesterday (well, all week really, but I only celebrated yesterday) was Pride,  I want to say that I am profoundly and immensely proud and grateful that I live in a diverse Country, where all people are intended to be equal under the law and within our society, and that we move ever closer to that goal. 

(Behold – the annual Canadian sock and beer picture.)

Second, I would also like to say, publicly, and without reservation that I am grateful and proud of our health care system.  I once read a thread somewhere where some people (some people who were not Canadian) were discussing my position on this, and said, essentially (and without reservation) that if I liked our system, it has to be that I am either a) stupid, or b) someone who has not needed that system, and that I would be singing a very different song, had anything every really gone wrong – health wise.   At the time I almost choked on my coffee, but I didn’t say anything, because anybody who would say that a non-citizen who’s never used our system would emphatically know more about it than someone actively using that system?  Maybe a) doesn’t apply, because I couldn’t see any point in getting into that argument.

The other thing I didn’t say at that time was anything in response to the idea that if anyone in our family had ever really been sick, or needed the system, we would see its flaws.  At the time within our family, we’d had our share of the regular stuff… births, accidents, appendectomies – that sort of thing, and the system had always served us. (I especially appreciated that here in Ontario I was able to choose a home or hospital birth,  and Obstetrician, Family Doctor or Midwife, as I wished.) It was amazing (and still is) to me, that I can have all of these services without worrying about the cost – but in a lot of ways, those readers were right. It’s easier for a system to deliver heath care to people who are essentially well.  The proof is in the catastrophic illnesses, or emergencies – and what I didn’t share at that time is that our family has had its fair share of that.

Like all families, bad things happen to us, although I don’t always discuss them with you because… well, not only is it a pretty big violation of privacy, it’s also a serious downer.  I can tell you though, that we’ve had serious accidents, with a family member flown to another city because better emergency care was available there, we had someone else have a pulmonary embolism after surgery, someone else we know required years of mental health treatment to get well.  Heck, when Sam was three years old, she had a umbilical hernia that ended up trapping a loop of her intestines. Within minutes, she was referred to the best hospital (The Hospital for Sick Children) and treated by a doctor that was a specialist in the surgery she needed.  For that matter, I had very serious surgeries several years ago, and came very close to departing this earth, and experienced first hand what our health care is like. 
None of this cost a dime – and that was essential, because mostly, we’re a family of artists (no health care insurance and back when that happened, we were actually quite well below the poverty line.

This Canada Day, I want to say that I’m proud and grateful for the way that our health care has served Tupper over the last year.  He required extensive, specialized and very expensive care, and I am grateful that not once during that time was there ever a conversation about money, a concern about who would pay for what, or a risk that something might not be covered. Every decision about his care was a decision between Tupper and his doctors, without needing approval or permission from any third party.  Now that he is gone, there is no financial burden to resolve, and I’m grateful for that. 

No system is perfect.  I know that, and I won’t ever say that ours is – there’s plenty of room for improvement. For starters, ours is a triage system.  The sickest people go first, without regard for anything else. I don’t have a problem with it, but it means that if a wealthy CEO and a homeless guy show up at the hospital, with a broken arm and a heart attack, the CEO is going to find himself waiting for his turn. (This has pissed off the occasional CEO, and they end up using money to go first somewhere else – like the US, although it’s less than 1% of Canadians who ever seek care elsewhere – over their entire lives.)   We do have long wait times for things that can wait (and they’re not as long as you think- comparable or less than most other countries.) I can also say that we have a long way to go in figuring out how to get rural places the same sort of health care available in cities – but that’s complex.  You can’t put a level 3 nursery in every tiny or far flung town – and people who live way the heck out there often have to travel to get care.  Also, we could really use more doctors in general – but I hear our neighbours to the south could use a bunch too.   This system works well enough though, that we have long life expectancies, low infant mortality and morbidity, that the valid complaints are few and far between,  and that 85.7% of us like our system, and feel proud.

The system works well enough that I choose the doctors I see, that I see an unlimited number of them, that I totally got to talk to someone in sports medicine (even though I’m not exactly an athlete) about my sore cyclist knees, and that the people in my family have been as well cared for as anyone I’ve ever heard of, and that their illnesses don’t cause debt. I go to sleep at night knowing that the sickest people are going first, regardless of their social standing, or ability to pay, and that does my heart good, even if it is occasionally difficult to wait my turn.

I’m proud, and I am grateful.  Thanks Canada,  for what you’ve done for our family.

Let’s hear it Canadians -what are you grateful for this Canada Day?

309 thoughts on “Canada Day

  1. I’m not a Canadian, but I think your system may indeed have its merits. It pains me to see the inurance companies in the US making medical decisions rather than the doctors sometimes. I used to work for a Canadian company and appreciated their mindset with regard to employee benefits.
    Happy Canada Day!

  2. Happy Canada Day! I always look forward to these posts. Have a lovely quiet day being proud of your country and countrymen. There’s a lot to be proud of.

  3. I eagerly anticipate the day I join Canadian ranks as a joyous expatriate …

  4. Wish I could say the same about my healthcare system on July 4. Happy Canada Day!

  5. I think I’m most grateful that my parents chose Canada as their adopted country and by doing so made it mine. I love this land; there is nowhere else on earth I’d rather be. My Canada Day has been spent paddling a canoe on a northern Ontario lake that i had all to myself. So grateful! Awesome post, Stephanie.

  6. Although I’m from the US, I have spent quite a bit of time working (and vacationing) in Canada.
    If it were easier for US citizens to move across the border I definitely would. Only used their healthcare once – when I was fishing/knitting – put my needed aside (upright in bag), rested my legs on the side of the boat, when they slipped and (of course) were impaled on a knitting needle. Embarrassing to say the least.
    The emergency room was very kind and helpful 🙂

  7. I am super jealous of Canada. I work in mental health and am constantly frustrated and saddened by the lack of continuity in care. I wish would your southern neighbor would take some pages from your book! 😉

  8. “and that their illnesses don’t cause debt”
    those are the words i hope to hear one day here in the US. i hate that too many of our decisions are made by “will this bankrupt my family?”
    Happy Canada Day! Salutes with knitting needles 😉

  9. Speaking as both an employee and user of the British NHS – amen, sister. Hope you and your family are doing ok. Happy Canada Day!

  10. Happy Canada Day! I’m happy to hear that you and your family have been served well by the health care provided in Canada. I’ve seen it done wrong here in the US more than I want to.

  11. I’m not from Canada. I’m from Sweden and I agree witn you. My american friends and family don’t get how our health care systems work. When I broke my ankle two years ago the emergency care cost me about $25. It’s not free but considering I went in an ambulance, spent two nights at the hispital and a surgery with complications I think it was cheap. Each time I went in for delivering my children I paid about the same. My niece who lives in the US recieved specialist heart surgery incl. chopper transport and the insurance didn’t want to pay the transport plus parents still had to pay 20% of the costs. Here it would have been $10 a day in the hospital with a maximum of about $125 a year for that same spevialist care including chopper transport.
    And here too the severity of the case determines who goes first and which hospital. Not monies. Enjoy your day and I’m truly sorry about your uncle. Hugs, Mia

  12. Happy Canada Day. As a US Citizen, I have always thought that Canada does many things well and that we could learn much from them in the way of banking, health care, and equal treatment under the law to name a few. I love my country, but I think we need to play better together and get the important jobs done. I’m glad we have such a friendly and responsible neighbor.

  13. Im not even Canadian but that makes me want to stand up and clap….go Stephanie. Exactky how I feel about the NHS here in England

  14. I came by to wish you Happy Canada Day and was pleasantly surprised that you posted today! Thank you so much. My step-mom was Canadian – Mum I called her – and her end days were beautiful thanks to Canadian health care. I was absolutely gratified at how well Canada cares for elders. This was in stark contrast to my US birth-mom who received bare minimum for a lot of money and it was always an uphill battle to balance what she needed versus what was paid for versus what was not. Congratulations, Canada, and thank you, Stephanie, for representing.

  15. Thank you for this post. You said it so well and I too am especially grateful for our healthcare system (which my family also uses a lot). Also I am grateful to live in a peaceful country, where most of us just really want to “get along”. On top of that there is so much natural beauty in Canada, from coast to coast. I can’t think of any place I’d rather live!

  16. Happy Canada Day! Not that you need this hard data to bolster you argument but…
    The Social Progress Index measures the extent to which countries provide for the social and environmental needs of their citizens from 52 separate indicators.
    The United States (which spends the most per capita on healthcare globally) ranks just 11th in terms of Health and Wellness. Canada came in 5th.
    I am American but I’m also an engineer and something just isn’t right about those numbers for my country… Be proud!

  17. Yet another Canada Day tradition — the xenophobic wrangle — doesn’t seem to have started yet. Huzzah! Maybe you’re making progress in educating the readership — certainly when people suggest that the Canadian system isn’t desirable I can, thanks to you, cite facts and figures and unarguable personal experience. Happy Canada Day, cutes.

  18. Happy Canada Day indeed.
    I am married to a wonderful man who would not be alive today if cost had come into the equation. He was very sick when we were just starting to date, worked for a small company, and the costs would have bankrupted him and his parents, *if* all his expensive treatments had been approved. I will Stand On Guard for our medical system any day of the week 🙂

  19. Thank you Canada….for the treatment and help I received in the difficult birth of my two boys… my tubal ligation in my twenties so I didn’t have to worry about more children ..for the emergency appendectomy in Ontario when I was visiting my parents so they could see their two darling grandsons ………..for the emergency hysterectomy I needed in my thirties,…..for the treatment my husband received to rid him of his painful kidney stones…..and for the treatment and care my father-in-law is receiving for his dementia and as he is nearing the end of his life….all were given and received with no financial worries for our family. Thank you Canada, my best beloved nation on the face of the earth… husband, my myself and my sons have served you both in the Armed Forces and as Peace Officers for the service and good of our fellow Canadians….I was born in another country and am a Landed Immigrant but I love you dearly most of all!!!!!

  20. Happy Canada Day!
    Your post echoes my sentiments exactly. I am thankful that as a nation we are willing to serve the common good for something so essential as healthcare.

  21. As an American, I’d like to tell you I’m proud that Canada is there as an example of OTHER WAYS to live together. Sure, we do it this way but ya know what? There are other options. Many of which I personally like better. Happy Canada Day and also Happy PRIDE!

  22. As someone who has lived south of the border for 6+ years (and lucky to have health coverage while there), and the wife and mother of two dual citizens, thank you for shouting your Canadian pride 🙂 I’ve watched friends decide between groceries and co-pays for pacemaker appointments, and between paying the electric bill and taking their grandkids to urgent care. There’s still a long way to go.
    I can only dream of coming home permanently, and we’re working toward it… until that point, I am proud to be Canadian!!!

  23. Steph, so well put. I wish we had a more relaxed and logical attitude about quite a bit of things ‘down south’ (here in the USA), especially regarding healthcare. I think Canada’s system may be similar to NHS in England. I have recently learned about NHS because my daughter wants to go live in England, and she has kidney disease, so the healthcare system is very important, and what I have read has alleviated my worries tremendously.
    My sister is a 1+ year cancer survivor, and 2 weeks ago she finally lost her house along with everything she worked for her whole life due to healthcare debt which bankrupted her. She can only now rent a room in a house with about 50 boxes of stuff that’s left. But at least she still has her LIFE, and she continues on the road to recovery. She hates it that she has to start over at age 63, but I try to put a better spin on it and tell her that she’s essentially in the same transition phase as retirees that get rid of the house, and all that they don’t need in order to start fresh somewhere else. I hope that’s not callous.
    BTW, Happy Canada Day, eh! 🙂

  24. Yup. We are terrified that the hub will lose his job – includes health care – the “fail safe”, cobra, cost us $1500 a MONTH last time he was laid off. And we are healthy people who rarely need care, no kids, just have insurance “just in case” – because we know so many people who have gone bankrupt from trying to pay for unexpected major expenses. You really do have it right; I wish certain people here in the US of A weren’t so proud or stubborn, but would actually learn from others. I am proud to be an American, but really, so much could be improved…………………ps, Happy Canada Day! The other day I hear the entire Canadian National Anthem, and it is beautiful. I also feel for your lose. Prayers to your family.

  25. Earlier today, in response to a tweet by Canadian Living mag asking a similar question, I tweeted that I am most proud of “Our humble pride in our country. Our diverse and beautiful natural resources. Our healthcare system.” I am so with you on that one. We are a blessed nation.

  26. And every year on Canada Day you make me wish I was Canadian. I am American, we have things to be proud of too – but the leading cause of personal bankruptcy here is due to health care costs (62%). I wish it weren’t so. Way to get it done Canada!

  27. Well said, Stephanie. As an American, I have no idea how your system works, nor would I sit here and bash it. Only idiots would do that.

  28. I’m very grateful on this Canada Day for our civilized, sane, beautiful and unbelievably pleasant neighbor to the north and all of her diverse citizens. Our family has vacationed in Canada many times over the years, and we always come back marveling at how well we were treated and how much at home we felt. Confession time: when I went to Germany in 1984 as a college student, the Germans were up in arms about President Reagan’s ill-conceived invasion of Grenada, and I was traveling with a lovely girl from Saskatchewan who had a huge red maple leaf decal sewn onto her backpack. We told everyone “we” were Canadians, and so I avoided many uncomfortable conversations… a belated thank-you to all of you for letting me pretend to be one of you for a few months!

  29. I read a piece in Canadian Living once a few years ago that basically said: We don’t have to dream about winning the lottery. We’ve already won a lottery because we were born here.
    When you think of all the troubles in so many other places on the planet, it’s so true.
    I’m grateful to be Canadian. For all the reasons you say and so many more!

  30. Happy Canada Day and many thanks! May you always be blessed with the ability to see things clearly and express them so well. So few intelligent people are also great writers.

  31. Having experienced both Canadian and US health care (the latter as a civil servant with excellent health coverage), I’m with you all the way. It’s a good chunk of the reason I’m back in Canada now. I don’t want to have to be a civil servant in order to know I can go to the hospital in an emergency without my credit card, nor do I see why a good chunk of my salary should go to paying for sub-par medical care, which is what I got in the US–much longer waiting times and poorer results than in any part of Canada I’ve lived in, complete with co-payments. Yes, I am proud and grateful to be a Canadian living in Canada, for that and many other reasons. Happy Canada Day!

  32. Happy Canada Day, Stephanie. I’m not Canadian but British and I endorse every single word you’ve written about the value of a proper national health service which treats all according to need rather than according to ability to pay. I wouldn’t want to live under any other system.

  33. Well said Steph! Can you please send this post to President Obama and ALL the members of congress in both parties? As a mom with a son with special needs AND good health insurance, I still have to budget for all the copayments. Tomorrow my son is off the hospital again, and I know that I will have to take care of payments before he ever gets seen. So sad that our health care is just another corporation with a bottom line.

  34. Thank you for saying so well what I think about our Canadian health care too. Whenever an American asks me what I think about our system, I’m so happy to be able to tell them about it’s fantastic qualities. I’ve been a big user of the system in the past 2 years after a serious diagnosis, and there has never been any worry about the cost. I can just focus on getting better.
    I’m also grateful for beautiful Canadian birds, trees, flowers, lakes and rivers.

  35. As a Canadian living in the USA, and expecting her first child any day now, I can say that what I’m grateful that Canada has, and keenly feel the absence of over here, is good parental leave.
    This Canada Day, I’m burning to go back home up north! I do miss it. Have another beer for me– Alexander Keith’s, please, I’m a Maritimer, and, well, see “expecting a child” above. Sigh.
    But I’m making maple leaf shaped cookies!

  36. I’m not Canadian but i am grateful that we have such a fine country to the north to emulate and look to for good examples of how it is indeed possible to be decent to your entire population. Bravo Stephanie and congrats on your Canada Day!

  37. I so wish the US had a system like that. There are many times when my family simply does not consult the doctor because of cost. Health insurance doestn even begin to cover it, and is also cost prohibitive. I wish so much that one day in the US the sickest people will go first and money will not be a factor in whether or not someone can get health care.

  38. Cheers! May Canada have peace and prosperity for as long as there are countries!

  39. Oh Canada!!! Thank you Stephanie for higliighting one of the key reasons we should have unparralleled pride in our country. I’ve experienced first hand much of what you wrote about… (okay…aside from the cycler’s knees!), but it touched me when you drew the lines between your uncle’s past year and our health care system. My hubby lived in one of those “far flung” towns five years ago when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, yet he had immediate access to one of Canada’s top surgeons almost immediately. He was served by the outstanding staff at three of Toronto’s hospitals, and while he lost his fight five years ago (we’ll mark that date in the next few days), it was not due to failures in our health care system. Here’s to Canada (as she raises a Canadian beer!)

  40. hope you have a peaceful day. Coming from the UK i can appreciate the health care as it sounds a lot like our NHS. we do grumble about the failins but it doesn’t cause worry about the cost.
    I’ve had emergency care and could not have had better if paying privately.
    Canada has so much going for it, hope i get to visit someday.

  41. I’m an American, and I really appreciated reading this. As my country stumbles toward universal healthcare, I point to the north and say, “See, IT’S POSSIBLE.”

  42. Well said, Stephanie. Happy Canada Day!!
    I love that I can walk down the street and people look me in the eye and smile, I love that I can get the health care I need when I need it without having to decide between putting food on the table or getting the necessary treatment to be well, I love that I look out my window onto beautiful green space filled with birds, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and even a few coyotes, that I can see Lake Ontario – one of this country’s estimated three million lakes – from my bedroom window, how we step up and help when it’s needed whether it’s here at home or halfway across the world, and that my friend Ray can marry his boyfriend one day if that’s what he wants to do. I love this country, I love that we’re not perfect but that we try our best, and I’m proud to be Canadian.

  43. I have always enjoyed your Canada Day posts and this one is very enlightening.
    I think everyone needs to keep in mind that your health care is not Free and that most Americans would freak if we had to pay the level of taxes required for free health care. It sounds like a good system that works well for the majority and we could certainly take a page or two out of your book and not just for health care.

  44. Just wanted to say thank you for your support of the LGBT community. We love you too.

  45. Hear! Hear! One of the endless reasons to love Canada. Happy Canada Day! (or Dominion Day, as my mum always called it.)

  46. Thankful for 4 distinct season, most of them cool enough to require wool! And for the healthcare system, warts and all. During my 16 years in Wash, DC, I learned that America is very much a country of entrenched privilege–far more than here. That said, once you’ve lived in more than one country, you seem to stop comparing and start taking it as a given that there are good things and bad things about every place.

  47. w00t, not canadian, but grateful for all the amazing Canadians I’m friends with, and that their country takes care of them well! Happy Pride to you, too!

  48. You should be proud! It is one of my most important dreams for the good old USA.

  49. As an American who lived for a time in Canada and benefitted from their health care plan, I can only say that I hope I live to see the day when the uninformed citizens of the US realize the enormous benefit “healthcare for all” is. I live in unrelenting terror that something is going to cause me to be so sick I cannot work, and then my health insurance is gone and then … I’m bankrupt. As a single woman, it is all too real a possibility that I may face that happening to me, and if it ever does, I will be homeless the month after. The Canadian system is infinitely better, and anyone who doesn’t realize that is not just stupid, but purely and simply an idiot.

  50. Happy Canada Day! I agree with you whole heartedly. I am Canadian, born and bred living here in the USA for the last 4 years and everyday I worry about healthcare (well the lack there of). I am very used to being able to go to the Doctor or Emergency when necessary for myself and my boys and now we have to worry about how much will this cost, is this going to be covered and co-pays. The reason I am here is because my husband is American and right now he is attending med school. Yes, he is going to become a Dr. and he says we won’t have to worry once he is finished because we will have the best “insurance”. To me, that means nothing because we still have someone else saying what they will and will not cover etc. I agree Canada’s system is not perfect and could use improvement. I would take the triage system/waits for non life threatening surgeries any day than having to deal with insurance companies and hospitals who are just there to make a buck!Fingers crossed we find our way back to Canada once hubby is done med school. Thanks Steph and have a Canadian beer for me too!

  51. Happy Canada Day!
    An online friend of mine recently lost her husband to colon cancer. One of the first things they did after his diagnosis was to put legal steps into place to assure that they would not lose their house over medical bills. I’m sure no system is perfect, but our system is really, really not perfect.

  52. Happy Canada Day! I for one am immensely happy with our system for without it, 1) Our entire family would have been homeless when my sister spent 2 months while PREGNANT in the Cardiac ICU and 2) My own family (husband and child) would have lost everything when our son was born via emergency c-section to save BOTH our lives.
    Let them think what they want. Jealousy is a deep and infecting disease and trust me, I hear how they wish the shoe was on the other foot when they are on-line complaining that they can’t afford medication or food or don’t know how the rent is being paid because they STILL owe money to the hospital or the doctor.
    I believe our health care teams are top notch and like our military, do a bang-up job helping and saving 9 our of 10 people with what little they have while their peers to the south are living it up in big houses, fancy cars and malpractice premiums that are hurting the very institution they are working in.

  53. Happy Canada Day! There was a good piece on the Daily Show with John Stewart last week about the Canadian oversight of financial institutions. Another thing to be proud of!

  54. I’m from Canadian heritage- very proud of that!
    And I envy your health care system! I really wish that Congress had to have the same health care as someone on medicaid. I have had medical insurance and I still find that it’s crazy expensive and it doesn’t cover everything! really hoping that someday our country will see the advantage of everyone being give coverage and not just the wealthiest.

  55. If knitters ruled the world, what a wonderful place this would be. I’ve re-read all these posts and am struck by their beauty, their softness and sympathy,the love is so palpable it jumps off the page at you.
    Happy Canada Day to all you lovely knitters!

  56. Here, here! I’m Canadian, too, and I’ve been thinking about this recently, after getting some really devastating medical news–at the very least, we won’t have to ever worry about any medical bills down the road. I am so incredibly thankful to live in this country, and to have our amazing healthcare system. Happy Canada day!

  57. I happen to get lucky with my new job at a university that pays all of my health insurance premiums and we have a program in place with a sister Medical school for treatment and doctor visits that only cost $10 a visit. In fact a lady that works here will be having her baby for $10, including prenatal care. But I seriously could have used the Canadian system when I was without insurance for almost 5 years.
    Happy Canada Day, and maybe one day I will have the ability to join your ranks.

  58. As a British citizen who is immensely proud of our NHS, which may have some flaws but is still there to treat all whether they are British or not ( a kind of irony, which a lot of people argue is causing most of the flaws, I’ll leave them to argue as I don’t know enough one way or the other. We as a family have a lot of financial issues at the moment, but thankfully being ill (or at least the panic of financial cost of being ill)is not one of them.
    I don’t understand the attitudes of the reluctant Americans who are against a free system. I don’t see that paying healthcare insurance to a private company to generate them huge profits, whilst limiting your access to treatment in order to safeguard their profit, is a much better option than paying it to a government who plows it all into a health system for everybody to use free of charge and with no or very little restrictions. For me it’s a no brainer!
    Anyway, Happy Canada day, and glad you enjoyed Pride too.

  59. I’m also a proud Canadian. I’ve suffered from serious health issues and can pretty confidently write that I would not be alive today were it not for Canada’s health care system, much as I see room for improvement as well.

  60. Am originally from Ireland, but have been living in the US for almost 20 years, and have never cared for the US healthcare system (or moreso, the corporate greed that is behind it). As I get older, the more I know I wouldn’t like to retire in this country. And so, on occasion, I think I could see myself moving north of the border to retire, if I decide to stay on this side of the pond. Otherwise, I’ll likely go back to Ireland or anywhere in Europe for that matter. A country that can take care of the health (and education too) of its citizens is a place I’d prefer to be. The USA still has so much to learn.
    Happy Canada Day, and my sympathies to you and your family for the loss of your beloved Uncle Tupper.

  61. Happy Canada Day to you!
    This is a great post that I will be passing on to many people this week as we celebrate our own Independence Day.
    When I tell friends how you always speak so highly of your health care system, they say all the things you have described (you must not have needed much health care, etc.).
    I love my country, but I wish we would emulate our good neighbor to the North.

  62. I’m being particularly grateful for our health care system this year, what with many tests, two biopsies and chemo, and radiation to come. The closest we ever came to discussion of money was when my doctor asked if we had private insurance. We don’t. He said not to worry, the expensive injectable med I need to take would be there if I needed it. And it has been. What more could I ever ask for from our system! Happy Canada Day Stephanie, to you and yours.

  63. “I want to say that I am profoundly and immensely proud and grateful that I live in a diverse Country, where all people are intended to be equal under the law and within our society, and that we move ever closer to that goal” As an American, that sounds like something we should be saying. Because after our corrupt SCOTUS just gutted the integral parts of our voting rights, we are that much closer to losing control over our lives. As one of the posters said above, if it were not so hard to move to Canada, I’d do it. And I have mentioned on some of your posts about your great health care. No your system or Swedens or the rest of Europe may not be perfect, but it is better by far. As a healthy 54year old native Californian woman (at least I live in a great climate with a health conscious population), I pay $250 per/month out of my check to see the my doctors for my mammo and yearly checkup. That’s it, just 2 checkups!! Irks the hell out of me when I hear how we are turning into a Socialist country. Yeah as if…and if it were, it would not cost me $250 p/month, and you would not be able to stand on a the sidewalk, courtesy of the taxpayers and complain about it being socialism. Further, most people do not even know what socialism is. I do get your system. If you want that pack of cigarettes, then you pay the tax on it which subsidizes the health care system. I think that’s fair. You are right when you mentioned about the care & treatment Tupper received in his final year. I become ill and/or hospitalized (cancer/diabetes family history)that’s it. I will lose my home that I raised my son in. I could really use that $250 on much needed things. Anyways…you just got me started, and I have to quit.

  64. Wow, I am very glad of the medical treatment your uncle received. It was not like that the 3 years we lived up there. I ‘received’ campylobacter after arriving, had two children, (homebirth was still outlawed then), and my husband got very serious head wounds from broken bands on a load of wood being moved. Our Dr was overworked and heading for a teaching job in NY. The friends I made there would all agree, from their own care, that it is a poorly run program. BUT, I’m glad of the care and the possibility that is may have gotten better.

  65. And, no sooner did I post my comment, didn’t I see this article in the New York Times – seems so appropriate in relation to the high costs of medical care in the USA (and the NYT article is just referring to having babies, which is not even an illness….):

  66. Thank you for that. As a “neighbor to the south” who has insurance but is currently also saddled with some large emergency room and ambulance bills for my child, I think perhaps we could learn a thing or two from our northerly neighbors.
    Thanks for sharing. Happy Canada Day!

  67. Just want to mention my nephew’s appendectomy, no health insurance, in the US, $26,000. His young family would have been bankrupted at its start had not a charitable organization stepped in.

  68. Amen to that! I too am grateful for our health care system. Hubby had open heart surgery seven years ago. His heart sounds like a clock now and every night I am thankful I can hear it beating.

  69. Happy Canada Day, eh! Another proud Canadian who’s so very grateful to live in such a wonderful country.
    So very grateful that this country welcomed my parents almost (ahem) years ago from the other side of the world, allowed them to make a better life for themselves and their family, and many years later, is taking care of them.
    We’re so very lucky to be a part of a country where “peace, order, and good government” is a fundamental principle.

  70. Hey Stephanie,
    Thanks for this 🙂 I just went back a read all your old Canada Day posts. Since I’m living in the US, and have for 15 years, this post makes me a little homesick.
    I really have to plan another road trip north. Soon.
    Happy Canada Day.

  71. Well said about our health care! Thank you for saying in your special way, how I feel about being a Canadian and our Health Care system.

  72. I hope we in the US get health care right someday. I have more than adequate insurance, am really quite healthy, and still spent almost $30,000USD last year on healthcare insurance premiums, co-pays, and noncovered items (hearing aids, anyone?).

  73. Happy Canada Day to you all in the far-flung north. Another non-Canadian here, Australian obviously, and I share your love for universal healthcare. Our systems are similar, and likewise while ours is not perfect, and yes, you have to wait for non-essentials, it’s pretty good when you need it.

  74. Happy Canada Day! (and if anyone from down here in the lower 48 offers an opinion about your health care system, you can safely assume that at least 90% of them have no idea what they are talking about.)
    I love Canada. I was your neighbor when I lived in Michigan. I would gladly move there if it was a little warmer.
    Many happy returns.

  75. I am not Canadian but I agree heartily with you. I wish the US was so forward thinking.

  76. I too have many good things to say about our healthcare. But I would like to clarify a few things for our American friends. Not everything is covered. We pay for prescriptions, eye glasses and general eye exams, hearing aids, and other smaller items. This depends on the province you live in. That being said, none of the above will cause us to lose our homes over an unexpected illness or injury. Having had to use our system extensively in the past few years, I have had nothing but good experiences with the car received.

  77. In addition to our health care system, I am grateful that for the most part we are peaceful, stable, well-governed, and welcoming to people from other parts of the world. I am so proud and thankful to be a citizen of this country.

  78. Waving knitting needles and saluting my northern neighbor, just wanted to say that I love my country but I seriously envy those of you with NHS’s. best regards and yarn on!

  79. Happy Canada Day!
    We have public healthcare here in New Zealand too and I’m glad we do as we’ve occasionally needed it. I think you have to have experienced the support and relief of knowing that there are medical experts available for you and your family, regardless of your bank account or insurance status, before you can truly appreciate the the peace of mind and benefits that can bring.

  80. I often repeat to my three girls, “Just by the grace of being born here, you are some of the luckiest women in the world”. I cannot express how grateful I am to be a Canadian, and for the privilege of bringing up my daughters in a country that guarantees us so many rights and freedoms.
    And as for health care… My father left his native England for Canada 50 years ago, in order to practice medicine in a system that serves all people, at a standard that he could be proud of. Our family has seen both sides of the medical system in this country– the good, and parts that could certainly use some improvement.
    Just last week, my brother was rushed to Sunnybrook Hospital’s ICU, where he spent 2 days and nights. By far, the GOOD in our system shone through, as did the exemplary personal qualities of the professionals who cared not only for my brother, but also those of us who love him.
    Love to YOU, Steph, this Canada Day. xoxo CGF

  81. THANK YOU for such a real testimonial on universal health care. As a physician practicing in the US, the stark contrast in care between those who can afford to pay (or pay for the best insurance) and those who have none is all too often a factor here. And unfortunately, we sometimes have to make treatment decisions based on how it will be paid for. It says something about Canadian values when you can celebrate Pride in the same breath as celebrating equal healthcare for all. And it also says something sad about US values when we can’t claim either 🙁 But we’re working on it!

  82. Happy Canada Day!
    To reiterate what you’ve said about our health care system here in Canada: about a year ago my husband was crushed by a flipped ATV out in the hills miles from anywhere. It took 2 helicopters, to get him to the best hospital in the area, multiple doctors, and many days in the hospital before he could come home. And the only bill we got was $22.00 for the crutches.
    I am incredibly grateful that we live in a country where he was cared for without question or direct cost, and we are not in debt because of it.

  83. I am grateful for the profound geographical beauty and diversity of our land. I am grateful for the standard of living most of us enjoy and I am grateful that many of us work towards equalizing inequalities that do exist. I am proud of what Canada has done around the world in times of war and in times of peace, often without immediate accolades or recognition. Je suis Canadienne et j’en suis fière.

  84. Your Canada day post has reminded me of why I am a proud Aussie. There is a lot that is wrong with my country, but you know, there is a lot we get right too, so I hope you will allow me a brief moment of pride.
    Speaking of health systems, a couple of weeks ago I got to see a neurosurgeon in a clinic in a public hospital and it cost me nothing. I’ve had MRIs and CAT scans, which cost me nothing. I’m getting the urge to sing the national anthem.
    I’ll sing the anthem a little louder when we catch up with Canada on the marriage rights issue. My friend has invited me to her wedding to her girlfriend of 20 years. I’ve promised I’ll dance at her wedding, dodgy spine and arthritic hip notwithstanding.

  85. Sounds like a pretty good health system to me and wish ours was as appropriate to those in need.
    Happy Canada Day,

  86. I am not Canadian. I am from Indiana, U.S., but I love reading your posts, and I especially love your Canada Day posts. Could someone please explain to me what is wrong with loving your country, especially the parts that are working well?
    I’m big fan of your knitting posts, but also enjoy that you share a bit of yourself while respecting your and your loved ones’ privacy. It makes me feel like I have a friend in Canada. Chances are that we will never meet, but if you’re ever in Indiana, look me up.

  87. Happy Canada day! It’s a wonderful gift to have a healthcare system that works, and that doesn’t bankrupt sick people and their families. The current UK government seems to be determined to destroy ours, but it’s still here for the moment. Life without it would be very scary. I like the way you write about issues like healthcare in such a straightforward and personal way. xx

  88. AMEN! Happy Canada Day. We lived there for 2 years and I have to agree that the health care there is much better than in the States. My son had his tonsils out and it did not cost a dime.

  89. As a Canadian Registered Nurse, I so appreciate you comments about Canadian Health Care. Well Said!!!

  90. I am a US citizen and I envy your health care system. My son and his family have almost gone broke paying for an unexpected illness because they work in the service area and have minimal benefits but of course the CEO of the company lives the high life. But I digress, our system has to change to a universal system and we would all; save money in the process!!!

  91. No, our health care system is not perfect; but it works better than most of the alternatives. A mom with Alzheimer’s, a dad with a heart attack, a sister who died of cancer, and a husband currently undergoing chemotherapy… and the worst thing I can say about our system is that I was a bit put out when the doctor I liked moved away and someone I’m not all that keen on took over her practice.
    As opposed to the worrisome news from the US where a dear lifelong friend lost her battle with cancer after the insurance company refused to pay for a new treatment which might have saved her; where another dear friend cannot get a mammogram because she is a single parent without insurance and simply can’t afford it; where another friend injured her ankle and couldn’t afford to go to the doctor, or get it x-rayed, so is still limping after almost a year; where a friend of a friend, who suffers from asthma makes do without her medication because she is looking after grandchildren who have to be fed; where her sick grandchild is watched and worried over instead of being rushed to hospital because the family can’t possibly cover the costs.
    Yes, Canadians pay a LOT more in taxes to cover this universal health care, so that I can have all my needed checkups, and my kids went to emergency when they needed to instead of being patched up at home, and my husband didn’t die three years ago when he was “supposed” to, because of the excellence of the care he received. I would rather pay more in taxes so that EVERYONE can sleep at night knowing that if and when disaster strikes at least it won’t bankrupt the family, and where EVERYONE just has to show up at a hospital to receive care. We gripe about the cost, but in the long run, we are a strong, caring nation and this is a basic human right that we unfortunately take rather too much for granted – until we ourselves need it.
    Happy Canada Day to all, and to me eldest son, Happy 21st Birthday (born on Canada’s 125th birthday!)

  92. This year will mark my 50th year in Canada. Arrived here when I was nearly 17 years of age. You can do the math.
    Not that I came from a bad country, but this one has afforded me the privilege of a career and the life extras which I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
    I choke up each time I hear O’Canada sung, and I consider myself a very proud Canadian. I’m grateful for our health care system. Grateful also, am I, for someone like yourself who helps remind me what I have here. Thank you.

  93. Happy Canada Day!
    Your posts on this day always make me smile. I, too, wish the US would follow the excellent example of Canada and many other countries and adopt universal healthcare.
    A few years ago I was vacationing in Costa Rica and hit my tailbone on a rock while white water rafting. I was transported by ambulance to the closest hospital, saw several doctors, had multiple x-rays, received medication, was visited at the hotel by a nurse to make sure I was recovering properly, AND was (correctly) diagnosed as having gallstones (which had gone undetected by my US doctors). The tour company picked up the tab (well under $100). Inconceivable in the US!

  94. Working in NZ’s private health system I sometimes want to say “Grrr” (especially with our pharmaceutical-buying agency Pharmac), however by-and-large our public health system, which is all I can afford now, is good. I can take the nominal charges we are given, as they truly are that – a flat fee and not too onerous. The incidentals are sometimes tricky, e.g. transport to the medical centres, and various anomalies, but by-and-large, good.
    Happy Canada Day! Some days it is nice to count your blessings.

  95. may I use this when someone tells me that obamacare is bad even though it is more of an insurance regulation than care like yours. speaking from experience with england’s and canada’s care i am hopeful we can learn to live with and not resent the small step forward we are taking. you are right to be proud.

  96. Everyone should be proud of their country. As an American I am always proud of it, and every Canadian should be proud of their wonderful country. Living in New York I am lucky enough to have visited many times, and always enjoy it. Happy Canada Day!

  97. Hear hear for a national health system. I live in Australia, and have lived in the US and Canada.
    There is far more acceptance of the ideology of community responsibility to share through taxation – commonwealth – in “Commonwealth” countries than the US. The idea that an Old Age pensioner can’t get a new hip because they can’t afford it is abhorrent, or that people of a different race put off going to the doctor because of cost is also repugnant.
    In Belgium they call their system “Belgique Mutual”. Again the idea of community rather than individualism.
    The great philosophical divide.

  98. Canada Day.
    grateful for so many things.
    For universal healthcare, which means my kids get the appointments they need.
    For a safe country, with a low crime rate, where I’m not worried about going to the park or going camping or heading into the city for the day.
    For weather cold enough to need wool.
    For maple trees, and maple syrup.
    For still lakes, loons, and canoes.
    Thanks, Stephanie. A good reminder today.

  99. From someone “south of the border”, a great many of us are envious of your health care system. Many of us go without treatment or dental care because we can’t afford either treatment or insurance and don’t qualify for the care available to the indigent. I’m glad to hear you and your family have been well served. Someday perhaps my country will get it’s priorities straight.

  100. As a Canadian I am so proud and grateful for our healthcare system, yes it is not perfect, but perfection is not something any system can realistically achieve.
    Just over a year ago, a couple months before my 19th birthday (my 20th birthday was on June 28th), I got very sick. And I immediately went to my doctor who sent me to the hospital for bloodwork, which led to several months of testing and visits to liver specialists. I found out that July that I had a rare liver disease that if left untreated can cause total liver failure/system collapse and you can die.
    Throughout all of that, I never had to worry about paying for testing or for the weekly doctors visits. My medication is quite expensive but I am very lucky because as a university student I am still covered under my mum’s insurance and pharmacare will cover it 100% after a certain point.
    So this year especially I am incredibly grateful and humbled to live in such a fantastic country.

  101. This American is grateful for the excellent, reasonably priced education that our daughter has received/is receiving at a major university in Montreal and the wonderful young Canadian man who has been her partner for several years.

  102. Happy Canada Day! I’m not Canadian but I am ever so grateful for our lovely neighbors to the north. Thank you for your eloquent defense of universal health care. Maybe some day we will see the light here, but greed can be so powerful it seems unlikely.

  103. We are not Canadian, but we love your country. We’ve always called ourselves Canadian wannabees. We have friends, Canadians, who have made us unofficial Canadians. We fly the Canadian flag every Canada Day.
    I am amazed that 2 countries can be so alike and yet so different. This American thinks Canada got it right as far as health care.

  104. Happy Canada Day! I love your Canada Day posts (I was thinking recently of your 2011 post, following the US Supreme Court decisions last week on gay marriage). I think those who consider the US healthcare “system” the best in the world are the ones who have never had to use it. Our family lives on an income anyone would consider more than sufficient, we have good insurance via my husband’s work, yet still after a series of health problems this year (none of which were even major, life-threatening issues), I am still anxious about what else might go wrong this year and how we will pay for it. I cannot even imagine how those with less feel when faced with these costs. It’s shameful.

  105. Happy Canada Day Stephanie! I’m in Denver Colorado & not getting the desperatly needed healthcare all because of costs. If it were possible to move to Canada just to be able to get medical treatment I would. But, when you write about how safe it is, to not live in fear, my heart yearns for safety. Be proud of your country & thank God you are living in a country that has equality for everyone. At 51, with severe illnesses untreated, I can say I am not a proud American. & that is sad. I keep knitting to have some sanity in the pain.

  106. I got an email from my sister today. It said simply, “I love Stephanie.” I have to agree! Thanks for this post – as two Americans we are looking forward to a time when all Americans receive the same rights and health care. ?

  107. Like Margaret at 8:16, I love your Canada Day posts – and that you provided links to all of them from previous years. Each July 1st, I go back and read them all, and I always appreciate your appreciation for your country. Plus, your annual post reminds me to wish the people I know who have moved here to Southern California from the Great White North a happy Canada Day!

  108. Great post and oh so true. Our health care system may not be perfect but in my eyes it comes rather close. No one I know has lost their house, savings or is denied necessary treatment. To me, to heap financial burden on a family during already trying times seems so very wrong.
    Cheers! Happy Canada Day!

  109. I cheer for Stephanie and hang my head as an American. I am embarrassed to have been party to a conversation that fueled the post. Know that many of your neighbors to the South endeavor to change much about our country,, especially our healthcare system. Your fellow pinko..

  110. Happy Canada Day, Stephanie! As a physician and a mother of a child with a major health problem I cannot tell you how many times I’ve fantasized about moving North of the Border.

  111. You don’t have to sell me on your health-care system. If I could pass the physical, I’d emigrate.

  112. Happy Canada Day from your neighbor to the south. I am an American with a child with a serious condition that will require life-long care. I’m not sure the folks who criticized socialized medicine (in the thread you referenced in your post) really understand it, or have had to fight insurance companies for basic care. (The stories I could tell…) No system is perfect, but I wish we could get past silly button-pushing labels like “socialized medicine” and understand what our neighbors to the north are getting right.

  113. As someone who is looking at almost 10,000 in hospital bills after having a high risk pregnancy and delivery I really wish our health care system looked at something besides money! It hurts to be told you don’t qualify for assistance because your husband has a job that allows you to pay your bills. That doesn’t mean you have an extra 10,000 around! ! I love all your posts and love your pride in your country!

  114. I’m grateful for a wonderful, peaceful, tolerant country that embraces everyone, no matter their nationality, sexual preference or beliefs. I’m also very grateful for our universal healthcare. As someone once said,”We don’t need to play the lottery. We’ve already won, we live in Canada!”

  115. Hey Stephanie
    I like our health care system, too, although up til now I have been a minimal user.
    Some other things I like?
    No capital punishment.
    No hollering about being The Best Country on Earth.
    A sad, not so angry, reaction to the occasional horrible crime event.
    There are some things that need work.
    The Senate.
    Secretive government.
    Too many people still not being looked after.(homeless and /or mentally ill.)
    I do love Canada.

  116. Thank you. We Americans need to hear the truth, the facts, and face some reality about the rest of the world compared to us.
    Sending love and hugs,

  117. Oft thought but ne’er so well expressed! I love you like I love Canada. Thank you.

  118. Happy Canada Day, Stephanie!
    We just returned to the States after 10 lovely days in the Maritimes. This is our third vacation to Canada, and we have yet to meet a rude Canadian. (I’m looking at you, New York!)
    I am envious of your health system, and I only wish that the fear-mongering corporate healthcare lobbyists in the US were not such a threat to regular folk like me and mine. I applaud the rights and freedoms that come with our recent US healthcare reform, and I look forward to the day (hopefully) when we get closer to a system like Canada’s!
    And if it goes the opposite way–are you guys okay with a few of us moving into your country?
    Best wishes to you and all Canadians on your day of celebration.

  119. as a working nurse in the health care system to the south of the great Canada, you are quite right. No perfect system, but it’s very nice that an illness doesn’t bankrupt a family, which happens quite a lot. I hope we can learn something from you folks. Happy Canada day! and we are having a b-day party for the US of A on thursday.. there might be noise and fireworks. Please let me know if they bug you. We sort of toot our own horn a bit too much. Not something that I’m proud of, but it’s become tradition. I think I’m going to put a picture of my sock in front of a beer too. Great idea!
    cheers and thanks for the post.

  120. Happy Canada Day to you, Ms. Steph, and to all our neighbors in your wonderful country. My eldest brother has lived near Kitchener, ON, for nearly thirty years, and I am SO grateful to Canada for taking such wonderful care of him and his many athletic injuries, including two complete knee replacements and one hip replacement.
    I work in a tourist area in northern Indiana, and we get many, many Canadian visitors every year. They are, every one of them, always cheerful and pleasant, and a real joy to deal with.
    Thank you for standing as an example to those of us in the USA, and for being such very, very good neighbors, always.

  121. Hi Stephanie, it’s such a coincident that a Canadian bloke is on the radio with Jim Mora (Radio NZ) as I type. He’s from New Foundland and loves travelling here in New Zealand. You sound like we’re almost living in a same country.
    Happy Canada Day!

  122. As a Canadian and a registered nurse, I have always been proud of our health care system. I am also proud of Canada’s sense of humour, sense of fair play, ability to see the forest for the trees, our trees, and keeping the “u” in words like humour and odour. Also, pronouncing it “zed” makes me happy.

  123. I’m south of the boarder and extremely grateful for all my Canadian friends!

  124. Happy Canada Day from a south of the border American. Our Government could learn a few things from Canada. thank you for posting such thought provoking ideas during your Country’s Birthday. Hugs to you and yours.

  125. As an US citizen who has visited Canada almost every year for 50 years I can attest to Canada healthcare. When my mom dislocated her replacement hip on the last day of her vacation she went to the local hospital and received excellent care at no cost. No long waits. No questions about reimbursement. Nothing.

  126. I too am grateful for our health care in Canada, from which every member of my family has benefited. When my eldest daughter was five, and suffered a severely broken leg when a kid on a bike ran her over, she was well looked after in the hospital and in therapy later. When my second daughter needed treatment for a metabolic disorder, and later brain surgery, she too was well looked after by excellent doctors in Vancouver. When my son was bitten by a tick and contracted lime disease, he was promptly diagnosed by a wonderful pediatrician and treated quickly, which is essential with lime disease. I could go on. There are so many great things about Canada, and hey, it’s beautiful too! And we have great wool!

  127. Happy Canada Day!!!
    We Aussies enjoy a universal health care system, and I’m so glad we do. No one should have to check their budget before seeking medical help.
    Love the socks too 😀

  128. Once when I was visiting a family in the US, the husband seriously injured his hand (cutting into it with a saw blade) and he stood there, bleeding, debating with his wife wether he should go to hospital or not since they were tight for money. I was shocked, having never had to deal with such considerations at a medical emergency. I felt so grateful for our Canadian system. Illness is stressful enough without worrying about money or financial ruin. To hear about a family that nursed a husband that subsequently died, leaving the wife and children ruined by massive medical debt seems so disturbing. Our system basically has built in insurance so that everyone can have access to essential health care. If a medical emergency arises, it is dealt with and then people can get on with their lives. I have always been genuinely surprised that those in the US seem so distrusting of the idea.
    I value our Canadian health care system, and for me it is preferable to what I see in the US system.

  129. Dang. I just wish I was a Canadian. I am a Canadian wannabe. Not just for the whole healthcare thing, but because Canadians are peaceful, when not engaging in furnace wars. Canadians totally know what’s what when it comes to cheese curds and gravy and fries, and then can carry off an “eh?” with style and verve. Dang. Wish I was Canadian.

  130. My husband spent over 35 years as a health insurer for a major U.S. company and during all those years he (and many of his collegues) said (privately, of course) that the ONLY solution is single coverage. In other words, Medicare for the entire company. I do not understand the objections to the Affordable Care Act–except for the fact that private insurance companies will still be handling it.

  131. As a Canadian who has lived in the US fo the past 20 years, I agree with you 100%. The American health care system, in my opinion, really stinks. I am married to an American who cannot find a suitable job in Canada. Otherwise we would pack our bags so fast, our heads would spin.

  132. It always amuses me when my fellow Americans complain about the lines and the wait periods in other health care systems. The US has plenty of waiting to go around: in the ER (a triage system, of course) where I’ve never waited less than 6 hours; at scheduled appointments, where I often wait an hour after my appointed time; even during well-prepared events, like surgery, where my sister had a six month wait for her appointment, a 13 hour wait the day of, and a month and a half wait for her “3 week follow up”.
    On an additional note, I’d quite happily pay some extra money if it meant that my mom could get a mammogram yearly, or a homeless person could get some free vaccines and treatment. *sigh* but we’re too busy being worried about being Communists…

  133. As the mother of a 26 year old American, with serious depression issues, I would be very grateful for a system that made health care freely available. My son is unable to get health insurance because he has had to use the system in the past. We have seriously looked at moving to a country that has universal health care (not free, I’m fully aware that all pay something in taxes).
    We are all grateful that we have such a good neighbor to the north.

  134. I am a Michigan neighbor and fellow knitter. I am glad to hear that your country’s medical plan has worked well for you. I find that encouraging as many here in the states shout dire warnings about changes to come in our system.
    I love my country for many reasons but whole heartedly agree with you about Canada’s diversity and friendliness. Happy Canada Day!

  135. I continue to be amazed at just how messed up our medical system is here in the US. Seems only reasonable to me to hire a few Canadians to set up a proper system and ditch what we have.

  136. Stephanie tells it like it is, as always! I’m an old retired Pediatric Nurse Practitioner south of your southern Canadian border, and I saw my share of heartbreak as families went bankrupt trying to pay for catastrophic illness and expensive treatment. Many, many people dear to me have no health coverage at all. I’m part of the group that attempted to encourage single payer healthcare for all in the U.S., and I have to admit that I’ll feel I’ve arrived if I live long enough to see that day. Thank you to our Canadian friends, cousins, aunts, and uncles who tell the story just like Stephanie and others agreeing on this post! We deserve to have the self-respect that comes with truly taking care of each other.

  137. Happy Canada Day ! Happy Pride ! As the wife of a family practice physician down here in NY, i applaud the Canadian system of healthcare for all. It should not be parceled out to those who can afford it.And yes, we could all use some more doctors especially at the primary care level. I also hope some day we catch up to the Canadians in the rights for ALL citizens, including LBGT folks. Proud to be your neighbor to the south.

  138. Thank you for another Canada Day post. I’m from the U.S., and I think my countrymates sometimes forget that a person can be proud of her own country (there’s lots I love about my nation) while acknowledging that others might be equally proud of their own. 🙂

  139. First, Happy Canada Day! I cannot think of another country I would rather have as our northern neighbors. While no system is perfect, I am fortunate that a pediatric cardio thoracic surgeon came down to NY from the Hospital for Sick Children to perform surgery on my now-husband’s birth defect. It saved his life.

  140. I am happy and proud to be a citizen of the United States, but I definitely have a bit of Canada-envy going on these days. Happy Canada Day to you, and Happy Pride! Love the rainbow sock, and am thrilled to be here in California where marriage equality again exists! Hope our whole country moves resolutely toward equality and toward a time when illnesses don’t cause debt.

  141. Happy Canada Day….from the US…I’m proud you guys are up there doing your thing so well….and so unassumingly too….Bravo…maybe someday we will be smart enough to emulate you!

  142. Thank you, Stephanie for your brilliant post this Canada Day! I always appreciate your canadianisms! Here on the west coast, sunny Vancouver, we are just preparing to go to the beach to watch the fireworks and celebrate this truly great country. Your “ode to Canada” Is so spot on. We shall raise a glass to Tommy Douglas tonight to thank him for getting the ball rolling on universal healthcare in this country, so many years ago. My family and I also hold dear a Canadian woman’s right to choose, and our ability to celebrate Pride Day. We are a great nation. Our humanity does shine bright. It always puzzles me when our dear neighbours to the south struggle with these issues. Americans have always been the most generous nation to the world; I wish they can soon apply their innate generosity to their own citizens. Vive le Canada!

  143. Happy Canada Day. I always learn something from you about our great neighbors to the north this day (and many other days too.).

  144. Happy Canada Day! I’m an American and I love my country but we can learn a lot from our neighbors to the north.
    It would be a great thing if we had your health care system, I worry about my family’s care even though we have insurance. Their motivation is profit, not providing patient care.
    We could also take a lesson from you in that you have lots of guns but don’t kill each other. What a concept!

  145. I looked for your blog post earlier today – it’s become one of my traditions these past few years. You’ve hit the nail on its head today …even more resonant with me because I was just home from receiving nursing care on Canada Day. It’s because of our health care system that I could have surgery and continuing nursing care no matter what time of day or night. It’s because of our health care system that I’ve had the best of the best care while managing a debilitating autoimmune disease. And, it’s because of our health care system that my family and friends have not had to make the choice between health, treatment and other life expenses.
    I love my country because of so many reasons but I will be eternally grateful that we brought in a socialized health care plan and gladly pay my taxes to support it. O Canada, and thank you Stephanie for highlighting this all while you remember your uncle.

  146. Your Canada Day post is a tradition of mine now…wishing you and your family Happy Canada Day.

  147. Thankful today for small towns all over Canada, we took in the local parade today, a free swim at the outdoor pool where when it got too crowded the local fire department sprayed water over top of the pool too since they were on display nearby. There was bouncy houses set up, candy passed out at the parade, friends and neighbours out to visit on the curbs of Main Street. What more could I have asked for today?
    To top it off a great blog post from you, and knitting on a new project- Happy Canada Day everyone

  148. I lost the best primary care physician I ever had when she decided to move to Canada to join her partner. Apparently Canada’s diversity and health care system was a draw even thirty years ago. Still haven’t found anyone I like as well. Our loss, Canada’s gain. All the best on Canada Day. It’s always a special blog day. Well said…

  149. Happy Canada to you and yours, dear Steph.
    And please, what is that gorgeous sock yarn?

  150. *Applause! * Well said as always. Happy Canada Day! You are right to be proud!

  151. Happy Canada Day. In all but 3 years of my life I have lived in a state bordering on Canada and have had nothing but wonderful experiences traveling in and through you lovely country. The one that showed the difference between our two countries was a trip in 1970 during which we ended up in a hospital ER when my husband became mysteriously ill. We received a bill for only $6.00 and we didn’t even pay taxes to support your health care system as we were citizens and residents of the U.S.A.
    Sorry for the loss of your Uncle Tupper. Many hugs and much love to you and your family.

  152. I am convinced you live in a part of T-dot where you have at least 5 hospital choices all of them excellent. I on the other hand have one choice, Toronto East General and in my view the worst in the city. I’ve had 3 misdiagnoses from them one of which was life threatening. It is dirty and the staffis miserable When the ambulance came I begged for any hospital except that one. I got lucky, they took me to Scarborough where I had immediate surgery and I’m alive to talk about it.
    It is a shame that we have only this one hospital in this part of town. Having something free ( which it’s really not, we pay high taxes) is worth nothing of your dead.
    Happy Canada day….namaste

  153. As a retired person in the U.S. with a couple of health issues, I was denied coverage by every insurance company I applied to and eventually had to go through my State to get very expensive insurance with an extremely high deductible that, in essence, ends up paying for nothing. I don’t know how anyone could criticize Canada’s system! You should be very proud! Happy Canada Day!

  154. Happy Canada Day! The past 4 years have been challenging ones “down below” especially in my state of Wisconsin whose Gov. Has determined it makes sense to not join the federal program and to create its own health exchange which will cover fewer people and cost more money. My mom, a Canadienne living here in the states lost her job after a second bout of cancer…her employer forced her out because they couldn’t afford her premiums. My mom went on cobra but couldnt afford it…but they could not afford to pass on it even more. Her last months were made even more difficult knowing what the fight was costing her and her husband. I’m a teacher who has had a few students this past year whose families were working poor…made two much for medical assistance but couldn’t afford their choices for insurance. Their kids went without their meds which negatively impacted their learning. Canadians seem to continually able to maintain its humanity…something we in the states seem to have given up. Those of us who insist on yelling the loudest about us being the greatest country in the world seem to be using a set of criteria entirely different than I do. We have a history of greatness using criteria that allowed us to be a beacon for so many & in so many ways. I hope we can look north and utilize a little humility and learn from another country that is doing plenty of things right. Happy Canada Day!

  155. The only time in my life I’ve ever done any activism was to collect signatures for Massachusetts’ universal healthcare law. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than it was before and I won’t move out of state because of the protections afforded me here. I grew up without health insurance for most of my childhood, got our shots and strep cultures at the local hospital where we could get free care, etc. We were lucky that nothing really bad happened during those periods.
    These days, my top-notch insurance is what enables me to keep working and off disability. If I didn’t have an awesome medical team and reasonable copays, it wouldn’t work. I’m one of the lucky ones, but I won’t ever forget my mom bartering for a pediatrician’s visit so we could keep current with everything.
    And also, of course. Private is private and not always ours to tell. I wish your and yours peace in this time of grief.

  156. I am so very glad that you are proud of your country and proud to say so. I am proud of mine too. I love that we can all say how we feel (within reason) in a safe place. Thank you for giving us that place.

  157. Great to read this. I am Canadian, but live in the US with my US husband (hum sounds like I might have one in every port, doesn’t it?). Anyway, when health care comes up, people correct me all the time about the Canadian system. I say, as you did, that none of my family has ever been refused treatment or had to practically bankrupt themselves due to paying for health care. It is a system I really appreciate now that I’m away from it – especially since my husband had extensive surgery here earlier this year, and we do not have insurance. They finally assigned him to Medicaid – with the requirement that we spend more than $3000 each month before there is any coverage. Ridiculous when our income is not anywhere near that – but when you are looking at over $200,000 in costs, I guess the $9000 it is going to cost us is better than nothing.
    Anyway, glad to see your post and your sharing of your story. OHHHHHHH Canada!

  158. Thank you so much, Steph, and Happy (belated) Canada day! I totally appreciate your viewpoint, and thank you so much for sharing it. There is much to admire in the Canadian way of doing things. I do hope we (south of the border) will come to our senses, setting aside the hyper-partisan divisiveness that accomplishes nothing, bankrupts people with serious health problems and fills the wrong pockets.
    Condolences on the loss of your beloved Uncle Tupper. May he rest in peace, and may the best memories warm your hearts.

  159. As an avid reader of your blog I’ve come to love Canada over these past years. I so admire your healthcare system, gun decisions, banking regulations etc. I’m American (with supposedly good health insurance) and the few times I’ve used it has been a red-tape nightmare and I had to wait anyway. I don’t know why we as Americans don’t take more lessons from Canada.
    Here – everytime a friend has a baby – it’s a $6,000-$10,000 cost – even WITH insurance. You know the stories… #1 cause of bankruptcies here is because of healthcare costs. It’s a constant worry for most.
    By the way – if you love Canada – check out a fantastic story from Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” last week that applauded the Canadian banking system and regulations. Lovely Canada did not have it’s banks collapse during the depression or in 2008 or any other time like my much beloved country of America. Don’t miss the segment!

  160. Happy Canada Day!! I have often considered and compared the Canadian health system to ours in New Zealand – it sounds so similar, and mostly, so good for all the same reasons you listed above.

  161. You always know how to put these things so clearly! Thank you. We are so lucky to have our system – flaws and all. I’m so happy to be Canadian and could never live anywhere else. I’m also very proud to be a Hamiltonian. Thanks again Steph!

  162. I always look forward to your Canada Day posts. We live close to the residence of the Canadian Counsul in Seattle and it was covered with Canadian flags yesterday, ready for today.
    I’ve always felt an affinity with Canada, having always lived less than 200 miles from the border and have spent a lot of time traveling through much of the country. I’ve had “O Canada” in my head all day and I finally noticed at dinner time that my husband was wearing a Canada T-shirt 🙂
    We love Canada.

  163. Happy Canada Day…and your is gorgeous and tuneful. Thank you for educating many people about Canada (and other things) with such grace.

  164. I am thankful for the amazing volunteers, government, and first responders who have been doing an amazing job here in Calgary for the past 12 days.

  165. More words from across the pond…I’m very lucky in that the most revere illness I’ve had in my 29 years of life is a mild ear infection when I was 10 but I’m grateful knowing that if things were ever worse I could get the care I need due to the NHS. Admittedly the system isn’t perfect-as recent government legislation is allowing each local primary care trust to manage their budget as they see fit some patients aren’t able to access medicines/treatments as the cost/benefit is not in favour of the primary care trust, thus causing a postcode lottery as they may have been able to get treatment if they lived elsewhere in the country. I can understand the difficult decisions that some primary care trusts will have to make, they are not working with limitless amounts of money, but you hope that the patient’s well-being will always be the first thing they consider. One of my aunts lives in New York and does not have health insurance due to the exhorbitant costs for even the most minor of ailments. She only works part-time and would not get sick leave so must go to work regardless of how ill she is. As she put it herself “I can’t afford to be sick”. It should not be this way.

  166. Well said. A system that cares for the sickest first, that provides what people need regardless of wealth, and that provides care appropriate to the needs of the person, is worth celebrating.

  167. I am a New Zealander living in the UK, and feel much the same way about the NHS. We’ve had some serious failings here in the last few years, but there are also thousands of people given an exceptional standard of healthcare every day. I would sooner contribute more to achieve better healthcare for all, than start paying into a private fund.

  168. I have read your blog for years and never felt the desire to comment, you say stuff so succinctly, but on this topic I am pressed to. I live in Australia, with a similar universal healthcare system. Just before Christmas my 14 year old underwent major heart surgery, followed by a less than standard recovery necessitating almost 6 weeks in hospital. Not only did we all receive the very best of care at all levels the system, at no cost to us at all but the socks which I learnt to knit last year after your long lived passion for them were the perfect bedside bordem preventer. Thanks Stephanie!!

  169. I couldn’t agree more! In the UK we have had free medical care since 1948 and, although the service is maligned by some, I think that we are so lucky to have access to whatever care we need without worrying about costs.

  170. A ‘paid for by taxes’ healthcare system has worked well here for over 50 years – with all the advantages you list. Pity recent, & present, Tory governments are trying to dismantle it.
    Those socks look awesome, what’s the yarn?

  171. Happy Canada Day, Stephanie! So glad to hear your family had good care. We used to live in Ontario and found that for the most part, health care was excellent. We now live in the capital of another, much smaller province, not exactly the far flung rural place you mention, but not the GTA either. Here, health care is great if you are actively dying, but is almost non-existent for all other sectors. The ability of the poorer provinces to fund health care in the face of diminishing federal transfers is stretched. Hope we can restore some balance on that count. And yes, so proud of Pride!

  172. Yes, well said, and Happy Canada Day!
    Here in the UK our NHS has its failings, you can wait ages for some treaments, mistakes, sometimes dreadful ones, do happen. BUT I had a very difficult pregnancy (after a lot of heartache trying to actually remain pregnant) and was supported brilliantly through all of it for no cost to me. In contrast, my friend – who had her baby in the U.S. – totted her whole bill up to $45,000.00 (they were at least insured). It makes me furious that our current government are basically doing thier very best to privatise the system. I really don’t think many people realise what that would mean.

  173. Happy Canada day, Stephanie. Your article summed up exactly how I feel about the NHS here in Scotland. For me, access to free-at-point-of-use healthcare is a basic human right. I am so glad that you didn’t have debt to add to all the sorrow over your beloved uncle.

  174. Happy Canada Day!! And Happy Pride! Wonderfully written post. Thank you ( and you bet I wish I was Canadian!!)

  175. I’m so proud to be an adoptive Canadian.I can’t think of a better place to live, and while I haven’t traveled the world, I’ve been around enough to know. Our health system is without question second to none. I love the fact that within the system I have choice and the freedom to decide which kind of care I want for my body.
    Thanks for talking about it today.

  176. Happy Canada Day! While there is likely no perfect healthcare system, I do believe you lovely Canadians are light years ahead of us here in the states. I’ve been fortunate in that most of my medical needs have been routine, but despite insurance (good insurance) I find myself putting off elective, but needed, procedures due to not having the necessary co-pay. And wait times? My young son has been sick off and on for the past seven months. His pediatrician has referred him to a specialist. Despite living a few hours’ drive from several medical research centers, we’ve got a three month wait to get in. Your healthcare system is certainly less flawed than others. Kudos to you for saying so, when it is so much easier to complain about flaws.

  177. I’m not Canadian (although I would like to be – it’s a long term plan), I’m British.
    But, your thankfulness for a free healthcare system struck a chord and I would like to add my thankfulness for existence of the NHS. It might be beleaguered with problems, but it is a truly blessed institution. Free health care is the most basic human right behind food, clothing and shelter and I’m proud that so many countries worldwide recognise this.

  178. Every year on Canada Day I wish I lived there. In this country, whenever someone gets sick the VERY FIRST THING they think of is, I don’t have enough money and/or I don’t have enough sick leave. It should not be that way. But there are enough people heavily invested in our immoral system that I don’t see it changing.

  179. Here here we have a similar system in the UK and yes it has it’s difficult moments but it’s great and long may both systems work and other countries take stock and begin to follow.

  180. Happy Canadian Day! I am not a Canadian BUT and that is HUGE BUT I am thrilled to live 50 miles south of the Canadian border for much of the year and to call Canada my neighbor to the north!

  181. Happy Canada Day! I hope that someday we can have that kind of healthcare in the US. I have an uncle who had to declare bankruptcy over his emergency room bills. So sad. I am grateful I have adequate insurance, but so many don’t and suffer greatly. And, boy would I love to have the birth (and leave) options you all have up north!

  182. As an American, I am grateful for Canada, Canadians and your help in assisting us with civility. Health care is a serious business and doesn’t have to be as stressful as we make it. Thanks for pointing that out. BTW… when my parents lived in Niagara Falls, we loved celebrating Canada Day! Never too many fireworks over the falls! 🙂

  183. Canada, Way to be Respectful of your Citizens! Happy Belated Canada!

  184. I love Canada.
    When my husband had an aneurism burst in his head, he was air lifted to the nearest city for initial tests. Then, he was air lifted to Toronto where they were ready and waiting to perform surgery on his arrival. He spent 14 days in Neuro ICU with a private nurse. Then he was another 5 days in general recovery before walking out the door to go home.
    We had nothing but the best care and I am so blessed to have my husband alive.
    The best part, we didn’t have to sell everything we own and go massively in debt as a result of all this health care.
    As I watched the fireworks last night, I sent out a great deal of thanks that I was born and raised Canadian.

  185. Happy Canada Day. I do think your government does a fine job of providing health care for its citizens.
    I do have to differ with you on one point, and I admit you touched a nerve here. Health care is not free. Doctors, nurses, drugs, medical equipment and supplies, and hospitals themselves have to be paid for. I don’t know the details of how the Canadian government funds your health care system, but I would guess it is taxes paid by its citizens. If you pay taxes, you are paying for it. If you don’t pay taxes for some reason, then you could say it’s “free”, but really, its just that others are paying more. It’s never really free.

  186. I am so glad my parents moved to Canada when I was a baby!
    I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
    I won’t forget my mother’s two cataract day surgeries in Toronto. We never showed a credit card and paid nothing at all. My father’s 24-hour long term care (in a private room) does not even cost $100 per day.
    I love toronto’s restaurants from around the world.
    I am happy I can travel home by myself after midnight by bike or public transit without worries.
    I am so glad to pay taxes for services even if I do not need them.
    Do I make these comments every year?
    Thanks Stephanie!

  187. Happy Canada Day – from one of your neighbors to the south.
    To all the folks pissing and moaning about Obamacare – have you ever stopped to think about the ramifications of our current system? While whining about jobs – think about how many people who would and could otherwise retire, just won’t, because by that age almost everyone has a “pre-existing condition” and they can’t get health insurance on their own that doesn’t have a sky-high premium? And there’s enough interference in care with even private insurance.
    The primary cause of bankruptcies in the US is still health crisis debt.

  188. Happy Canada Day!
    I’m a dual national (originally American, now also British) with friends and relatives all over the world. One person close to me is in Canada; she received excellent treatment for breast cancer a few years back as well as some in-home social support all at no direct cost to her and her family. I was so impressed that all the decisions surrounding her care were made by medical clinicians directly involved in her health not administrators. I know that there must guidelines and protocols behind these medical professionals which ensure there is enough care to go around.

  189. Yay Canada-our fave neighbor! My husband and I dream of retiring there. We honeymooned there, plan to drive up soon (we aren’t far) and just enjoy the ambiance. I have heard all sorts of stories of how Canadians have to wait for treatment, they don’t have choices etc etc. Fortunately, I did a research article for a nursing school project (back in the day-but still relevant) and I know differently.I don’t hesitate to tell people that. And when they say, well you should go live there then, I say, Can’t wait. Save a spot for me!

  190. I agree on both your Canada counts. Very cool to see our Premier walk proudly in the Pride parade this year. I bet that meant a lot to her.
    And, yes, a resounding second to the health care. Our family too has had it shares of health care struggles, but like yours, we know we will receive care, we know we can access it without fear of familial debt. We know we will receive expertise when we need it. I too am grateful that any Canadian can access it no matter their personal situation. That means a lot. It helps me sleep more easily at night and helps my conscience to rest easily too.
    Happy Canada Day to you and yours.

  191. I’ve lived in Canada for almost 14 years, and I became a Canadian a little over a year ago. I love your Canada Day posts each year!
    This Canada Day I’m deeply thankful to live in a country that makes it possible for me to spend my daughter’s first year at home with her, rather than working. It’s a huge help to receive maternity benefits from the government for the full year, and it’s comforting to know my job is guaranteed for that time as well. I can’t imagine having to go back to work after 6 weeks like some women in the US.

  192. Happy Canada Day. Last night I went to bed knowing my children were safe and that we were free to celebrate the day however we wished. That is what I am greatful for yesterday, today and always.

  193. The New York Times had an article on how childbirth can cost up to $45K USD for uninsured Americans. It’s the costliest childbirth in the world.
    As an American citizen I love my country, but to paraphrase Al Franken, I see no reason why it can’t be a mature love, the kind that sees room for improvement. I’m fortunate enough to have health care through my employer, but I have friends who have struggled hugely due to the economy. One friend in the arts worked for a small company that, due to size, was not required to give her health insurance, so she debated working extra hours at Starbucks for the health insurance (despite having a master’s degree and a demanding day job).
    I’ve also seen that countries with socialized healthcare seem to have better continuity of care for the mentally ill — something close to my heart as right now my mother’s schizophrenia is managed by a) whether she feels like taking her medication and meeting with her doctors (which is influenced by her finances) and b) whether she’s an imminent danger to self or others. So my mother, who’s irrational, may decide she can’t afford to take her medication, which then can sometimes land her into an involuntary hospital commitment, which then costs thousands of dollars – some of which may not be covered by her health insurance (insurance which already costs an arm and a leg and which practically requires a PhD to navigate the complexities of paperwork). Do we see a vicious cycle here?
    I’m an educated professional, and I often find the paperwork and cryptic correspondence from my health insurance maddening. It can take 5 calls to figure out something was miscoded and thus falsely rejected for payment. I shudder to think of less educated and/or less assertive people getting continually ripped off by these ‘paperwork errors’.
    Anyway, sorry to ramble, but I’m grateful I lived in Canada for my first 7 years, otherwise I doubt I would have gotten vaccinated as a child, given my mother’s difficulty with paperwork.
    What is that lovely yarn?

  194. Happy Canada Day Stephanie!
    As a Canadian provider of health care I appreciate our system everyday. It is true it is a triage system, so minor things wait (some too long in our cash-strapped province that limits the number of doctors available) but when there is a serious problem to be investigated or treated, the cost to the patient does not come into play for the most part in any decision making.
    We have much to be proud of here in Canada but also we also have more to do. Far too many of our people live in poverty and have a lower level of health because of it. Provinces are struggling with the costs of the providing universal health care with the huge increases in the cost of the technology and pharmaceutical costs. We need more growth in midlevel providers for preventative health care – midwifes, physician assistants, nurse practitioners. Not every health issue needs an expensive doctor or even a more expensive specialist.
    Well said Stephanie. I send my condolences on your recent loss. I’m glad the system served your uncle well.

  195. Happy Canada Day! I love your Country and have considered moving there one day. The people in the US that insult your healthcare system are most likely(IMHO)people that have good insurance and never have to wait their turn. I feel they would be singing a different tune if they were ‘un-insurable’ in the eyes of the insurance companies or couldn’t pay for the outrageous premiums. Rant complete ::stepping off my soap box::

  196. I have long wanted to live in Canada, and one of the reasons is health care. I have only had insurance for three years, and still my medical bills are dibillitating for my family. My mother was in basically in the hospital for almost 30 years, and bankrupcy really was the only option for my family. I believe that your system works, I wish more than anything I could find a job in Cananda, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to be able to plan my family around the amount of children I wanted to have as opposed to how many I could afford hospital bills for. Maybe someday I can be a Canadian.

  197. I hope you had a fantastic Canada Day! Thank you for the insight into the health care system of your amazing country. I have always been a bit curious as to how the system works from a patient perspective. I would like to apoligize for my fellow country men and some of their ignorant points of view. Some of us are not as narrow minded. I work in health care for a non-profit system who give alot back to the community. This place that I work for is as close to socialized medicine that I have come to and our country should not be afraid of it. Again, not only do I read your blog because of your knitting, but I love learning about Canada. I so much want to visit Toronto and Montreal.

  198. I too agree with Austin Val. And to quote Leigh above, “I would sooner contribute more to achieve better healthcare for all, than start paying into a private fund”. Unfortunately, that’s not yet the case here.
    Happy (belated) Canada Day!

  199. If only I could say those wonderful things about the US health care system. I can’t. I am intimately aware of the US system because I am being treated for cancer. The cost? Unbelievable. The care? Try to find good doctors that accept your health insurance. Distress? On the phone everyday fighting with the insurance company over tests, referrals, cancer medication. What a F****** country!

  200. Thanks for clearing up misconceptions. I’m sure that not only was the CEO unhappy about waiting his turn, but also was pretty loud about it! Here in the US, a couple of the main arguments against Universal Healthcare is that you have to wait months or years for surgeries and that you don’t get to choose your healthcare provider. You have dispelled those myths. Happy Canada Day!

  201. After Sunday’s church service, with a stellar sermon by a retired cleric (and history professor), he and I were chatting. He mentioned how he heard Tommy Douglas speak, when an undergraduate student. T.C. Douglas is credited with being one of the fathers of Canada’s healthcare system. In his speech, Douglas had spoken about the overly-proud folk who wouldn’t go to the doctor, because they couldn’t afford it; when they finally went to the doctor, it was too late; the doctor said, “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do. You should have come to see me MONTHS ago.” Douglas said, “THAT is NOT going to happen ANY MORE!” And, bless him, for the most part…it doesn’t.

  202. Happy Celebration, Stephanie. I envy your health car system and also your country’s acceptance and inclusion of all people, especially the LGBT community. We are struggling with that here in Pocatello, Idaho. Small hopeful steps are being made forward. As for the health care system here – I can’t even bear to think about it. It is a constant worry, with no hope for improvement in sight.
    My husband and I spent the winter in Wellton, AZ. We had no idea that we would be outnumbered by Canadians. I guess that is one thing that the US has that you don’t – a nice hot place to be in the winter. (oh – another – we can all carry a gun, yippee!) We made many friends, and boy, can those Canadians party! Some have or will stop at our home in Idaho going to or fro next year.
    We will march in our July 4 parade this Thursday, and proudly celebrate the USA. We have gotten some things right and hopefully will work to improve on the rest. Given the diversity of opinions in our country I am sure many will see these issues differently – this is just my opinion.

  203. Oh the days, I wish I lived just a .25 degrees north! I hold my breath hoping that healthcare will come about here. We lived in the UK for years and the system there similar to yours, I think, was a godsend. And we too had the important scary hospital times. It’s hard to retire in this (US) country!

  204. this is beautiful and one of the many reasons i occasionally think of jumping the border one day. 🙂 i am sorry to hear about your personally scary surgeries and i am thankful you had good medical help and persevered. thankful also your family was able to receive care when needed. we don’t always get to decide when we need medical help, but when we do it would help for people to not worry about cost. thank you for making such a personal statement. i hope you enjoyed a quiet Canada Day!

  205. With all these shenanigans going on in the States this week – I am especially grateful for two things:
    1. That old white male politicians don’t debate what I can and cannot to with my body.
    2. That gay marriage is and has been legal here for years and no one’s heterosexual marriage has been affected.
    Happy Canada Day!

  206. I’m glad the system is working, and working well for your citizens. It is comforting to hear that people who are using that kind of system are okay with it since the U.S.government seems hell bent on shoving that system down our throats.
    I only have one small disagreement with what you said. It does cost you a dime. It costs you many dimes. You all pay for your healthcare through your taxes. It isn’t free. The realities of what is going to happen to my family finances is causing me a lot of stress. We’re being forced even further below the poverty line. At least we’ll be able to go to the doctor whenever we need to, yeah?

  207. Happy Canada Day indeed!
    I am so very sorry for loss. Your post about him in December 2004 suggests something of the magnitude of the space that will be in your lives now–but what a joy to have had such an uncle.
    And indeed, to be free to grieve without facing the debt collectors is a gift. This is a country that has its fundamentals sorted out, even if some of the bits need work. [Although I didn’t see Mayor Ford at Pride ….. again …..)

  208. Happy Belated Canada Day! I think Canada is a terrific country. Be proud of it every day, Canadians. You made it so.
    I come from Germany, where healthcare is “socialized” as well. My experience has been similar to yours. I was able to spend two years with my mom that we wouldn’t have had if we’d had to pay for her treatment and everything. For that I am grateful beyond words and absolutely willing to pay my share towards other people getting that opportunity, too.
    I love living in the US, but there is always that tiny voice hoping for my husband not to lose his job or for insurance companies and the government not to change the rules. It’s a new fear to me and sometimes it’s hard to cope with it.
    Again, I hope you had a good Canada Day, everybody. If we want to, we can all learn from each other, which a) is really smart and b) broadens our minds with a variety of experiences.

  209. I don’t usually comment on your blog but feel compelled to today,
    Thank you so much for this post. It seems that the US government (which is where I live) is only concerned with corporations and the almighty dollar and not the people who work for a living. I can only say that despite turning 70 this year, I will continue to fight for a society that will treat all it’s citizens with respect and humanity.

  210. Please excuse any posts from non-Canadians ignorant of the actual benefits of your healthcare system. In the USA we have been fed an endless supply of misinformation–okay, outright lies–about “socialized medicine”, and this has tended to squirrel the brains of many of my fellow countrymen/women. I would be delighted to live with triaged healthcare managed by professionals and the patients involved, rather than overseen mostly by underpaid and often under-educated clerks working at for-profit HMOs.

  211. You so often articulate the feelings inside me. Once again, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    As a transplanted American and now a card-carrying Canadian who has three Canadian daughters, I am proud of Canada in its tolerance, acceptance and understanding of what it means to be a person, in sickness and in health.
    As the discourse in the US rages about access to healthcare (or not), I am appalled that people lose their homes over catastrophic illnesses, when they really need the help and support of their country to get back on their feet.
    We spent yesterday’s Canada Day in the ER as my hubby had sliced his finger. The wait (4 hours) for stitches was frustrating but helped put in perspective that he had a “mere flesh wound” compared to the terribly sick coming in and being seen first…
    Enjoy a Wellington or Mill Street brew and enjoy your knitting!

  212. As an American residing in Michigan we envy your system. At $826 USD per month I still must pay co-pays and all medication costs. I envy your system and would be willing to wait my turn. I am so close to a wonderful system but so far away. Doctors here can start their careers with $100,000 of debt. The math is easy–we pay for the whole thing. The collapse of our system is coming.

  213. I am another American who envies your system. We can barely afford our insurance, but we keep it because we can’t possibly afford it if anything major happened. I wouldn’t mind waiting if I knew my kids would get the best care possible, not just what we can afford.

  214. Great post!
    I lived in England for 10 years then in France for 21 years. I loved the medical systems. My appendectomy was such an uneventful affair and obviously free.
    I don’t understand why the US are so against this idea of everyone being looked after properly. Why do people have to make decisions about care based on whether the people they will leave behind will loose their house ? Not the attitude of a first world country in my opinion.
    I’ll be avoiding the US until this issue is resolved… too dangerous.

  215. Every time we travel I want to kiss the ground when I return to Canada. Not just for our wonderful health care system, but also for the way it welcomes people of every ethnicity and allows them to continue to celebrate their background, and the way it passed the bill allowing same sex marriage right across the country, not province by province.
    Happy Birthday Canada! You may have rotten winter weather, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

  216. Happy Canada Day!
    As a Canadian currently living in the UK, I am very grateful that Canada allows me to hold two passports. It makes me feel so secure knowing that I could return back ‘home’ at a moment’s notice. I am also so thankful that my children are recognized as Canadian citizens as well!

  217. While I am really glad when a person is patriotic and proud of their country and enjoy reading what you like about Canada (I have lots of Canadian customers in my work as an Economist), it is a bit disconcerting and misleading to say “it doesn’t cost a dime”.
    You and all other Canadians ARE paying for health care through your taxes. This distribution of costs is different than the USA but it is NOT FREE. You and your family members are paying for health care -perhaps on a pseudo sliding-scale but someone (actually many someones) are paying for it. Just my 2 cents! ;o)

  218. As a US citizen who would do just about anything to be able to be a Canadian, UK, or (insert country with Universal Health coverage, same sex marriage rights and no conflict about teaching science in schools here) citizen I say your are rightfully proud. And I am deeply jealous!

  219. After my post at 5:40 p.m. I felt I vented too much to the point that I was taking/hijacking from the original thread. It really struck a nerve with me, as an American woman, how we are treated on a whole as 2nd class citizens, and most recently as women and the disregard for our reproductive decisions. The dialogue surrounding it is even stupider….just takes your breath away. I even expected some angry words to be directed to me. However, it was not. You can tell who the Americans are on this post vs. Canadians. Wannabe Canadian? Maybe I’ll coinphrase Cana-bee’s? Wanadians?

  220. Happy Canada Day to you. Add me to the list of Americans envious of your country’s medical system. You are quite right to be proud of your country and how it cares for its citizens.
    Even with my company paying 60% of my health insurance premium, my yearly bill for basic insurance is nearly $2,500.00. That doesn’t cover dental or vision care (How do they figure that being able to see or chew your food is non-essential?). It’s another 50 bucks to see a doctor outside of your yearly exam, another 50 bucks for any test, and if you have to go to the hospital for anything it goes up considerably from there. It can be quite easy for even someone with insurance and a job to go into debt because of a serious medical condition. Too often the demands of the big corporations take precedence over the needs of the people in this country, and it seems to be getting worse all the time. You’d think with all the wealth and supposed greatness of the USA, they’d treat their citizens a bit better.
    My mother’s side of the family is British, and I have cousins in both England and Canada. I’ve heard nothing but good things from their experiences with their country’s health care systems. They are horrified with the amount of money we spend on health care in the U.S.

  221. Yay Canada! 🙂
    I hope one day the bible thumping US citizens who love to point out that our country was founded upon Christian ideals and that one of the basic tenants upon which the US declared itself independent from the British Empire is “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” will recognize that LIFE is an unalienable right and that healthcare is necessary to maintain that unalienable right. But of course they also refuse to recognize the all men are created equal part too, so we’ve got a long way to go before we get back to fundamentals.

  222. well said Steph.
    I’ve worked in the UK’s free at the point of access health service for 27 years.
    Reading posts valuing that system are heartening, especially as the media and the Government here are constantly telling me that our system is failing because I am not prepared to work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and that being a woman makes this worse because I only work part-time.
    Damn right I work part-time; I volunteer at a primary school part-time teaching the kids to knit.
    Keeps me sane…

  223. I’m a Canadian living in the US. Healthcare is a mess here. When,”the big healthcare debate” was happening, I occasionally heard examples of disastrous things happening in Canada. I always let people know that, like you, my family has always been able to get excellent care.
    I am astounded how people here are so resentful of paying a little more to help someone out. I wish this country would follow the Canadian example and develop a single payer system. I don’t expect that will happen, but I hope for it.

  224. I would love to live in a country where my family was respected and we had universal health care! Way to go Canada… Maybe my little family can find a way to move further north some day.
    Happy belated birthday BTW. I always think of you since we share that monumentally awesome day.

  225. My husband’s family is Canadian, although I am US, so I am thankful for butter tarts!
    I hear you on the health insurance thing. Someone I work with doesn’t have insurance, and she passed out at home. Her family took her to the ER, where she eventually woke up, furious because she can’t afford it. The visit cost her $8,000, and because she has $10K in savings, she has too much money to qualify for their “poor” category. She just finished grad school and is working PT while she looks for a job in her field.
    Three cheers for Canadian health care!

  226. Belated Happy Canada Day! As a citizen of the U.S. I always hope that our country can be like your country when it grows up. 😉

  227. I’m also very grateful for our health care system! As a woman, I’m grateful to live here – we’re not nearly perfect in terms of gender equality, but a lot of women have it a lot worse. And I’m grateful for the many phenomenal artists, artisans, musicians – and writers! – that Canada produces.

  228. I have always loved Canada and wished I were a Canadian. Your country is beautiful and your people are both interesting and kind. And as someone whose life is defined by whether or not a job can offer me health insurance, let me just say that your health service is the only way to go. You are indeed lucky to be Canadian.

  229. I love your Canada Day posts.
    I was born in and spent the first 39 years of my life in the states. I had a lot of issues with it. I knew I was lucky to have been born there rather than in some countries in the world, but since I was old enough to know the difference I always wished I had been born, instead, in Canada.
    Three years ago I moved to Canada because of love. Our first year was really difficult, we didn’t have money, we had to borrow a car to get my wife to work and we lived in a worksite shack. We definitely had no extra money for healthcare. Then my wife sliced the tip of her finger off at work. I was so freaked out because I forgot that we wouldn’t have to pay to take her to the ER.
    Knowing that everything was covered was so great. I felt a moment of peace I never knew before. I’ve spent most of my life worried that the kids my break a bone or I might get sicker than a cold. I am so grateful that doesn’t have to be a financial worry anymore.

  230. I’m American, and well, yes a proud one, but our health care is one area we have really failed in if you ask me. I would be thrilled to have the system you have in Canada, but I’m saddled with so many other Americans that fight this and yet are happy to spend trillions on killing people in wars. I guess that’s too simplistic but I want to say it anyway.

  231. Thank you, Stephanie, well said. I was visiting yesterday with a friend who used to be an executive at Blue Cross but then struck out on her own with her husband to run a start-up. Knowing the system and even the *people* in the system and every claim-denying game they play, after she was no longer employed by them, she had a catastrophic injury and then cancer and had to spend what should have been energy on her recovery instead on trying to get the insurance to pay what it knew it rightfully owed while the hospital was coming after her to pay up.
    I told her, The people who think we have a great system (in the US) are the ones who’ve never really had to use it, and she exclaimed, AMEN!

  232. (And by catastrophic injury I mean 18 facial reconstructive surgeries. The doctors did a good job–you could never tell to look at her.)

  233. I am grateful to live in Canada and feel very safe. I like that I can go vote with no pressure on me whatsoever. I love that I don’t own a gun, and never will (I hope) but for those who do hunt, I appreciate the fact that its what you love to do. Fill your boots – I love venison. I love being Canadian with all my heart. Its a beautiful country full of very passionate and caring people. We are Canadian.

  234. A long time ago in the USA, I had to go to Emergency in Philadelphia. A credit card was required before Emergency consideration. Recently on a visit to Germany, a visit to Emergency was again required. My passport was photocopied. I was seen immediately by 2 eye specialists; 1 for a preliminary examination & later by the department head. After the diagnosis we approached the Emergency desk & asked, where do we pay? With a smile, they said the bill would be mailed to us! It was $77.00CAD; including $26.00CAD extra because it was a holiday weekend. I have always appreciated our Canadian healthcare system as amazing. The low cost of Germany’s system is awesome. I think every Canadian feels the gratitude of Thanksgiving on every day, not just Canada Day.

  235. Happy Canada Day! I don’t know why so many Americans think that government provided healthcare is akin to communism. Healthcare is a right for everyone and not a privledge for only the wealthy.

  236. Happy Canada Day and thank you to Canada for setting a good example for the rest of us.
    I am a retired hospice nurse (in the U.S.), and was always grateful that under the hopsice benefit that Medicare and most insurances provide, patients in their last days, can receive the care they need, and support for their families without worrying about the cost. I wish the rest of our health care system would follow that example.

  237. Happy Canada Day to you all!
    I’m a little late to the party on account of the fact that a dear friend asked me to attend her and her husband’s citizenship ceremony yesterday.
    I was moved beyond words many times by the ceremony itself and the comments I heard, and by the obvious joy of new Canadians who know they’ve arrived in a good place where everyone’s allowed to have – and share – their opinions without fear of retribution, and where world-class health care is accessible to people who need it.
    Those of us who were born here should remind ourselves just how good we have it, and never take it for granted.

  238. Many times I have wished we were Canadian. Or at least had the Canadian systems in place. So much more civilized. I’m in the states and I (and others) aspire to Canadian health care.
    Happy Canada Day (belated).

  239. I’m an American living in Canada who already agreed with the Canadian way of doing things, but recently had cause to be so very, very grateful. A couple of months ago I woke up with a dark spot in my vision, so went to my optometrist, who informed me that my retina was torn and I’d have to go to the emergency room immediately.
    So I ended up having preliminary eye surgery on a Friday night, long after all the other doctors had left the eye clinic, because my specialist stayed late. Then I had the second part of my surgery on a Sunday morning when the clinic was closed, again because it was an issue that couldn’t wait until business hours.
    For all of this, I paid nothing, and the clinic I went to is considered world class.
    It’s not the only reason I’m working on gaining permanent residence, but it’s not the smallest factor either. I’d be too scared to move home where I’d only be able to afford minimal coverage.
    Canada is awesome for sure.

  240. Happy
    I think many things about Canada are awesome, not the least of which is your health care system. It is designed to give patient’s good health care no matter their income, which is the way any civilized society should treat medicine.

  241. Loved this post. I have always been so proud of our health care system and you put it into words perfectly.
    For those who keep saying we pay taxes for it, you are right. But the taxes we pay are nothing compared to what friends of mine that live in the United States pay monthly for health insurance and then there are copays and higher prescription costs. Nope I will continue to pay taxes to the country I love and get excellent medical care.

  242. The head of Canada is one to question, and there are issues with the mental health system (but at least there is a system and you aren’t a completely shunned person in society/ considered an animal). Overall however, I love Canada. WE are very lucky to be living in such a safe and stable country.

  243. PLEASE PRINT COPIES OF ALL YOUR CANADA DAY POSTS And comments –sell them –I will buy 300+ to send to friends, congress,scotus, and US president.
    This great country is being undermined by fear. I want to be part of a team. Unless we consider the least of us we help no one.
    signed me –retired educator who has worked for the last 6 yrs to educate US citizens about the NEED for universal health care! any room for me up north?

  244. And that’s the way health CARE should be – for everyone, everywhere. Amen.
    Pam in the U.S.A

  245. I’ll say that I’m certainly happy to live here over our neighbors to the south, even with the flaws in our healthcare system. My biggest issue with it is how it’s currently not well set up to handle health issues with people who are not cis-gendered. Such as the transman in Nova Scotia who was told, after the surgery, he had to pay to have his uterus removed because he was a transsexual even though it was a doctor’s recommendation for cysts and if he’d been a cis-woman, it would’ve been paid, no issues.
    However, if that same person broke his leg or was shot, he wouldn’t have to worry about the costs incurred to him to get looked at. I knew a girl in the States who was mad because her fiance developed kidney stones (maybe gall stones, I don’t remember) and needed to go to get surgery and that pushed their wedding back because she didn’t want to be married in debt. I’m so glad THAT has never been an issue, to decide between health and money.

  246. I think your health system is pretty good. While I think there are some nice things about the US system, the flaws for someone not made of money are pretty steep. Happy Canada Day! We’ll have our happy day as your southern neighbors soon enough.

  247. Happy Canada day! I love learning about and look forward to this post every year!

  248. Happy Canada Day. I’m a Yank and proud of it, but I am eternally grateful that you guys are next door. Neither one of us is perfect, but overall, this is a pretty good neighborhood. Be proud.

  249. Oh, heavens, I hope we (US) can soon come to a system like yours. But the haves are so frightened…. It’s scary to share. What if “they” don’t share back?

  250. Stephanie, I’m glad your family had good experiences with the Canadian healthcare system. My friend who had to drive his terminally ill wife, who was in terrible pain, from North Rustico, PEI, to Moncton, NB, every week for her cancer treatments, until she mercifully passed away, isn’t so fond of it. And my experiences with the UK health system, as it affected my mother, father and aunt, would make your hair stand on end. If either the governments or the private entities who ran these systems could build consistency and efficiency into them, then we would really have something. Unfortunately, that’s never been the case, either with socialized medicine, or a private system. It’s all down to personal experience.

  251. Great post. Several years ago I had a lump in my breast and while already a terrifying experience I am grateful that I never had to ask myself whether or not I could afford to get it checked out.
    I am also incredibly grateful that when I suffered a mental health crisis during pregnancy I had access to excellent care at no cost (it should be said that if I hadn’t been pregnant or post partum I wouldn’t have had the same access, we could stand to improve in this area).
    There are definitely flaws and I know plenty of people who have had negative experiences but ultimately I think our system is better than one where health care decisions are made by for profit companies.

  252. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!
    I’m not even going to read the responses because I’m sick and tired of people who defend the US system controlled by our insurance and pharmaceutical companies. I have travelled the world, and led tours in Australia, London, and France where I have had to seek care for people on my tours. The treatment received has been compassionate, and top notch.
    When people talk about the Canadians waiting so long to get treatment, I like to tell them of my story where I needed the services of an OB/GYN, but couldn’t get in for 8 weeks because I was not pregnant. Seriously,
    So I say to you Happy Canada Day! I would love to move there, but I need sun.

  253. I couldn’t help myself. I went back and read the posts, and was pleasantly surprised… At the support and agreement. Gives me hope.

  254. Yesterday as I got ready for work National Public Radio mentioned that it was Canada Day – you were the first persion that I thought of, and I was looking forward to what you would post on this day. Happy Canada Day – a little late!! Although I am from a neighboring state – I have no experience with Canada institutions. I can say that I am thankful for the lake waters of southern Ontario, the open vistas at the Rocky Mountain fronts in Alberta, the finger lakes of British Columbia, and for the beauty of the Desolation Sound!! All of these places and the people that inhabit them have helped nourish me as a person allowing me to return to other parts of my life rejuvinated. Thank you to Canada for protecting them. And thank you for sharing parts of your country with us – looking forward to some day visiting Nova Scotia after seeing your blog. Good luck on the bike ride – always love the hair comments.

  255. awesome,awesome awesome
    I wish we could have the canadian health care system here!!!!! in the us of a

  256. Happy Birthday, Canada!
    I’m old enough to know just how foolish Americans are about healthcare systems! You’re right on, as you well know, and thank you for saying so, loud and clear. I wish more people would listen!

  257. I look forward to reading your Canada Day posts every year. Thank you for putting the links to the years past so conveniently in your post.
    Happy Belated Canada Day!

  258. Happy Canada Day (a little late) and as I contemplate my 4-digit medical bill (and I HAVE good health insurance) due to husbands testing – which ALL came back negative just like 4 years ago (which we ALSO paid for), I could only wish for social medicine. Sigh. I can only imagine the yarn and/or fiber I could be buying with that money. Quivet, silk, buffalo – anything!!

  259. I wish I lived in Canada, I wish we had a single payor system in the US. You do live in a country to be proud of!
    Providing at least basic health care for all is just kind and humane, the right thing for a government to do.

  260. I love Canada, I lived in Canada for 2 years and many times I wish I had stayed. I return for short visits which are always much enjoyed. I hope your Canada Day was a happy one. Much love.

  261. If only you had a “Share” button so I could post this to my FB page. I have some FB friends that comment on the Canadian system and know nothing about it.
    Thanks for the education!

  262. I’m late to the party, but I must agree with your sentiments. Anytime someone complains about income taxes in Canada, I remind them of all the services we gain for those taxes. Universal health care is just one of the reasons I love Canada.

  263. Your Canada Day writing is among your best. You might think of putting together a series of your serious stuff for publication.

  264. I’m late to the party but, like you, I appreciate the healthcare we have. First off, My son, was a miracle. I needed years of fertility treatments to conceive him. Almost all of it was covered by healthcare. Then, when he was 2.5 years old. He had SJS (steven Johnson Syndrome. I still look back at the pictures I took of my son on full life support. Her had 7 IV pumps hooked to him with fluids, pain meds etc.etc. He had a feeding pump, a ventilator, a heart monitor and basically every machine possible trying to sustain his life. Round the clock one to one nursing in a double isolation room in the PICU. For 5 days, my son teetered on the cusp of death and not once did I have to worry about the cost. I Just needed to worry about the outcome of the situation.
    Our health system may have flaws but, they all do. Mine didn’t cost me my house, my son’s well being or a lifetime of debt I could never pay off. It never determined the quality of care he got during such a rare an little know illness.
    I am Canadian and I am blessed many times over.

  265. I’d be ecstatic to have such a system. I am 64 years old, have a lump in my left breast that needs attention and teeth that are coming out. I live on social security and have no insurance to get either condition treated. Two years ago, I ended up with an infection in my right leg that required emergency hospitalization or a long, slow, painful death. Hospital for 3 weeks, intense antibiotic treatment, specialists to determine the cause, and other such stuff left me with a bill I can never pay off if I live to be 105.

  266. I am only just looking at this now. Canada day is also my birthday and I spent that day travelling to see my father who had been flown from our regional city to a capital city to have triple bypass heart surgery. We also live in a country that we do not have to worry about health costs- maybe because it is another Commonwealth country.
    I also consider us incredibly fortunate to live with our imperfect healthcare system and to have several family members working within it.
    BTW- He is recovering right on track.

  267. Happy Canada Day! I’m glad your health care system is better than ours. My mother was in the hospital, in ICU, and the nurse was asking her what she would like for them to do if she had a medical crisis. A woman from the hospital billing department barged in and asked how she was going to pay her bills. My mother said she didn’t have a check with her, and that she’d send one of her children home to get one, turned to the nurse and said she just wanted them to let her go home and die, that she didn’t want to burden us with the bills. I’ll never forget that, and I’ll never forgive the hospital for allowing that to happen. And this was a public hospital, not a private one. I’m glad you have a system that doesn’t cause that kind of anguish to people. I hope that one day we’ll be able to have a system as kind as yours.

  268. Well, I’m late to comment so you probably won’t see this. Even in Houston TX which has a huge medical center, it takes 3 months at least to get an appointment with a pediatric neurologist. I was told to go to the emergency room to get care for my son who had a chronic condition. As we all know, it’s about the money. Hopeful Americans will see the light and get behind universal care.
    I’ve been thinking about you. Best wishes through your sorrow and forward to your new challenges.

  269. My father lost his house because of medical bills. He had diabetic complications, due to lack of medical care he could not afford. Because he didn’t get care early he went blind, lost his feet and then his kidneys failed. The state took everything he owned to pay for his hospital care after his death. The house my parents had worked all their lives to build was their only asset. The rich leave their children untaxed inheritance in the USA. The poor leave their children nothing because the state steals it all.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that the US government hates its citizens, why else would they treat the people this way.

  270. I wish the same health care standard (low infant mortality, longevity, education, clean water, warm houses) was afforded to aboriginal communities. That would make a good country a great country,IMO.

  271. I, for one, am very jealous of your system. Most of us in the US are just one medical catastrophe away from poverty even if we have insurance. Perhaps some day.

  272. I’m so glad your health care system serves you and your loved ones so well. I also appreciate your elegant candor in expressing how it works.
    In my opinion, no well informed person living in the country to the south of yours would deliberately design the health care system that we have. A friend of mine posted a very well informed rant on Facebook. Wish I could fin it quickly and copy it here.
    Our system was badly broken and still needs work. Devisive politics are preventing that.
    I’d try to move to Canada when I retireif it weren’t so darn much colder than Florida in the winter.

  273. Yes, yes, yes. I was born and raised and currently live in your neighbor to the south, and I’ve lived here with insurance and without, and I’ve lived in the UK and used their National Health Service. I would take the NHS any day. I’m glad Canada has figured out national health care, and I hope someday the US does too.
    As an aside, a family I know in Northern Ireland went through a serious illness which resulted in the death of their 6 week old baby. The only good thing I can say about that is that because they live in Northern Ireland, they never once had to worry about how the medical bills were going to be paid, and what care was or wasn’t going to be covered. Losing a baby is about the most terrible thing I can imagine, and I’m so thankful that the family didn’t then have to worry about medical bills and bankruptcy on top of that.
    I’m proud of my northern neighbors, and I just wish we could learn some lessons from you guys.

  274. First, let me say I am so, so sorry for the loss of your beloved Tupper! I’m way behind on blogs, so I just found out now. All you’ve written about him over the years has shown how much you love him and what a wonderful person he was. I am so sorry. (((hugs)))
    Second…oh, healthcare. I sometimes wonder if the US will ever get it right. I’m an artist with four chronic conditions, currently living well below the poverty line, and I was told that I don’t qualify for Medicaid. I’m stuck with a health insurance policy with a $10K deductible. I hope the coming changes make it better, but I don’t have high hopes.

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