Secretary and DPCA Voting Representative, UK; Council Member, UK; Progressive Caucus EMEA Chair

  • tagged My health care story #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-30 08:22:42 -0400

    My health care story #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I never had health care coverage while working in the in the USA. With degrees in many technologies said to be in high demand, and no job possibilities in the USA, I left the USA in order to survive. I acquired universal health coverage. Nearly all expenses are covered. This permitted me to have a family. Where is this coverage? Mexico.

  • tagged Mexico Health Care #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-30 08:21:44 -0400

    Mexico Health Care #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I have for 10 years been under the care of an ENT(Ear,Nose&Throat) specialist in Texas. I receive a Medrol injection every 8-12 weeks for Reactive Airway Disease. This cost $40.00 once my United Health Care Insurance Deductable has been met. When I moved to Yucatán I had to seek this routine injection from the Physicians that are located at the Ahorro Pharmacies. The Physicians are rotating Physicians, who are usually young and new in the field and I presume are fulfilling their residency or intern educational needs. They do an assessment and provide a Prescription that I hand carry next door to the Pharmacy and fill. I then return to the attached clinic next door and the physicians then administer the injection absolutely free of charge. I just pay for the medication and syringe. This is very cost saving as there are Ahorro Pharmacies all around the city, Merida. I have to drive one hour in Texas to access my ENT Specialist.

  • During April 2016 I was diagnosed as having an “atrial flutter”. #DAresists #Medicare4all

    My general practitioner performed an electrocardiogram in his office and determined that I should be transferred to the Aachen University Clinic for treatment. After numerous tests and pre-treatment therapy, an electrical cardioversion was performed. After two days of in-clinic observation, further tests – including a stress electrocardiogram and an MRI of my heart (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) were performed. Every day during my three-day stay in the clinic a resident cardiologist informed me of the test results. After it was determined that the treatment had been successful, I was released and all test results were forwarded to my GP. With the exception of 10 Euros for the ambulance, all costs were covered by my health insurance. I now have an annual long term and stress electrocardiogram in addition to an echocardiography carried out by a cardiologist. The health insurance that covers all of these expenses costs me approximately $290 per month.

  • I left the USA in 1969 and became a Canadian citizen in the '70's. #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I have experience the Canadian health care system as both a patient and a physician. I have nothing but praise for Canada recognizing that health care is a right, not a privilege. As a physician I was always certain that I could provide the best care without worrying if my patient could afford my care. I am a psychiatrist and mental health care is covered just as any physical illness. As a patient I have suffered from a chronic malignant condition. I have received excellent treatment without worrying about losing my finances. The freedom from financial stress is healing in itself. Could the Canadian system be improved? Yes, of course, nothing is perfect. We need universal pharmacare, and dental care. We could better utilize our system to reduce wait times. Some elective tests, treatments are delayed, but any emergency investigation or treatment is available. Everyone is covered and we can use our medical card in any Canadian province. It even covers some benefits outside of Canada.

  • tagged Universal health care story #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-26 08:47:11 -0400

    Universal health care story #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I had a bicycle accident in April. I am 69 years old and it was quite a 'break' in my life. I still work and like anyone who has an accident, i was no prepared. I broke my leg and my elbow (still recovering!). Passers by were helpful. Called the ambulance which took me to the nearest hospital where i was treated the same as everyone else and waited my turn for a very excellent bunch of services including x-ray, CT Scan, MRI and eventually surgery on both parts of my body. Complete with titanium implants. I was then taken to an amazing rehab facility which is attached to the hospital and given really wonderful care until i was able to walk with a cane and get up the 14 steps to my second floor upon returning home. Everything from start to finish was kind, compassionate and quite proficient. Once i returned home i was given 8 sessions of physiotherapy and assistance taking showers until i could manage it myself. all the wonderful care kept me from being depressed (they also provided me with pain killers and any other things i needed, which in my case was minimal). On account of this i was highly motivated to continue my own care after returning home. If i had had to make decisions about what to spend money on or not (i am not insured with work. My care was totally OHIP covered) it would have been a much more stressful and less successful recovery. As it was it took from April 13th when i had the accident to May 6th, when i returned home to get me more or less out of the system. Follow up was good as well. the surgeon kept his eye on me until the bones were successfully knitted. I shudder to think what it would have been like without universal health care. I have watched my niece in the USA decide not to go to the hospital for stitches after cutting herself badly with glass because she couldn't really afford it. Her pensioned mother had to offer. Ridiculous. My other, less specific input is that I was a single mother with a deadbeat ex for many years. I never had to worry about medical care for myself or my daughter. one less form of humiliation not to mention security. I am deeply grateful to live in a country that offers this to all it's people.

  • Working in both the US and Canada as a doctor #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I am both a US and a Canadian citizen. I am in the unusual position of having practiced in Canada before the development of universal government-funded health care known as Medicare, followed by practice in the US without universal health care, followed by practice back in Canada when Medicare had been established. Having experienced the worst of US medical care, I decided to never again practice in the US. I fear today for Canadian health care as it drifts toward a US-style private model. I developed and ran a three centre health care network in Rochester New York 1970-75, where I also practiced. I had good contracts with Blue Cross for the employed of Kodak, Xerox and American Optical, and I had a good reimbursement rate for those who were destitute on Medicaid. In the middle we tried to care for the marginal poor or sometimes employed. It can’t be done. What I faced as an administrator in trying to be fair to those who cannot pay eventually put the system in jeopardy. This loomed large in my decision to return to Canada, where I ran a similar system in Montreal from 1975-1993. There I no longer worried about providing cost effective care. Our Canadian health care system has not had a major overhaul since its inception in the 1970s, but we need to work on fixing those problems through comprehensive health care reform, without destroying a system that most Canadians feel is an expression of the highest values in our society. Those who see an increase in private care as the main way to fix the system seem unable to separate their own financial benefit from the needs of the nation. While I looked in the US for a warm place where my wife Bonnie, who is handicapped, could be independent, in the end I was so distressed with the US private-for-profit system that permeated everything from how poor people were cared for to the educational system that seemed blind to what was happening around them, that I felt that I had no choice but to return to Canada. It is useful to think about how Bonnie was flown without charge from Quebec to Ontario on a specialized intensive care jet to receive landmark surgery unavailable in Quebec, how the costs of her many months in hospital were the price of room TV. Or when I required back treatments then unavailable in Canada, Quebec paid for me to receive care in Minneapolis. Unlike what many in the US believe, there are no restrictions in Canada on choice of physician, assuming availability. In fact, our system is largely entrepreneurial and uncontrolled, unless the doctor is on salary, which is still rare. Some would say that ours is not a health care system at all but a system of paying doctors and hospitals for providing services according to a schedule of payments. And we are unique among comparable Western societies because we do not fund essential drug costs for the patient. I am astonished, though I ought not be, that many Americans, who are one disease short of being destitute, believe that single payer health care is bad for them. Part of the US population’s refusal to embrace the obvious is achieved by scaring them with terms like “socialism” and the spectre of a Canadian system where people cannot choose their own doctor and they will not receive the care that they need. Canadians of course can see their own doctor, and as many times as they need, without cost to them, just by showing their Medicare card. Lies about the Canadian health care system are willfully propagated by US private insurance interests, and ignorant legislators in the pocket of lobbyists are believed by a naïve and unsophisticated public. While there are undeniable problems in the Canadian health care system, compared to the US we are in much better shape, and we can fix our problems, within the existing system-- if we put our minds and pockets to it.

  • tagged Health Care #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-26 08:43:26 -0400

    Health Care #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Hi, I am a Senior and have very little to live on. I have to pay for Medicare, but that still has a deducible, which is a lot of money to me. If I get extremely ill, I will not have the funds to pay for health care. I would hope you would think of your Seniors when forming a health care bill. Most of the Seniors today are still working, I am,because we cannot afford the minimal cost of living and health care. Thank you,

  • tagged Health Care in Canada: #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-26 08:42:20 -0400

    Health Care in Canada: #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I moved to Canada in 1975 just after I married. At 28 and having been very healthy all of my life, I was quite naïve about the cost of healthcare in the US, and fell very easily into Canada’s single payer system. I bore and raised two children under it, never paying a single penny for healthcare, including maternity care, emergency stitches, tonsillectomies, and allergy specialists. Indeed, having to pay to give birth would have shocked me, I think. Regarding our family health, everything went quite smoothly until 1996 when my husband and I were involved in a car accident which left me a quadriplegic. We lived in Halifax but the accident occurred in New Brunswick and we were taken to the Moncton City Hospital where I spent a month in intensive care. I have nothing but the highest praise for the care I received in that facility, for which I never paid a single penny. At the end of the month I was moved to Halifax where I spent two more weeks in hospital care and then moved on to the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre. I spent 10 months in this wonderful facility, again not paying a single penny. I had to learn how to live all over again down to the basics of going to the bathroom, feeding myself, and finding the best way to read a book. I was helped to regain my strength and taught mobility necessities like how to transfer from the wheelchair to a bed. I met others with mobility issues and became comfortable with the idea that this wasn't the end of my world. At the rehab, my husband and I were counselled on how to best modify our home for my wheelchair needs and compromised hand mobility. We were helped to navigate government bureaucracies and insurance companies for continuing care and future financial needs. My time at rehab was invaluable and my gains could not have been accomplished within the six week time period that I understood US insurance companies allowed for rehab, at least back in 1996. Again, I paid nothing for the care I received in that facility. This past summer, because of severe osteoporosis from sitting in a wheelchair for 21 years, I broke both of my legs at different times. I received immediate care in emergency including same day admission to the hospital. Surgery was planned for the following day until the doctors and I together decided that it would do more harm than good. When deemed necessary, my doctors have been able to secure diagnostic tests for me within a couple of days – x-rays, colonoscopies and ultrasounds. My son was diagnosed with MS at the age of 24 and again has had only positive experiences with healthcare. NS pays for his very expensive drugs. In either of these cases, our family would have been met with catastrophic health care costs, if not then forced to sell our home or possibly go into bankruptcy, were it not for Canada's easy to access single-payer healthcare system.

  • tagged My health care story #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-26 08:39:33 -0400

    My health care story #DAresists #Medicare4all

    It's wonderful to have the chance to talk about the health care system in Canada, my adopted home for the past nearly 30 years. There are so many misunderstandings STILL among our American friends and even some family members. Some still can't wrap their minds around the concept of universal health care and free choice. "But do you pick your own doctors?" we still get asked by dubious Americans. Yes, and yes again. Do we sometimes have to wait to get to see specialists? Yes, but my experience in LA, where I lived for over 40 years before immigrating to Montreal and then later, to Hamilton, Ontario, also involved waits and limited choices. I am now 70, and though in basically pretty fit shape, monitor nearly a dozen, different chronic conditions, from fibromyalgia to benign positional vertigo. Most are at best inconvenient, others periodically limit my activities, Only one -- melanoma in situ, is life threatening. At nearly 50 my husband and I adopted a baby girl from the Republic of Georgia, who, as it turned out has cerebral palsy, hearing loss, ADHD and mild anxiety. She's nearly 22 now and quite high functioning. Still, we are both frequent users of our health care system, with numerous specialists supporting my daughter's health. Would we have had all this care available had we stayed in Los Angeles? Possibly, though I doubt that I could have afforded all of it. To go into a doctor's office with my OHIP card and know that I will be cared for simply because I am a citizen of Canada, a resident of Ontario, is a privilege I hope I never take for granted. My Canadian friends -- who tend to complain about doctors, wait times, etc -- can't believe that health care is not a basic, human, universal RIGHT in the United States. Here in Canada it is our birthright. More recently, I helped usher my elderly parents through cancer surgery and treatment in Los Angeles. The hassles with insurance, finding specialists who accepted Medicare, etc was the bane of my mother's existence in her last years. Dying of melanoma, she opted for a geriatric specialist who was part of a consortium of doctors who charged a membership fee of $1,200 and something like $150 for each subsequent visit. The office did not accept Medicare. The contrast between the Canadian system and what is being proposed this week to the U.S. Senate is beyond stark. It's care versus cruelty, life versus profit. Thanks for listening.

  • tagged Breast Cancer #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-26 08:35:53 -0400

    Breast Cancer #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003....I am an American expat who lives in Canada....I am now a dual citizen...but believe me, I Vote!!! When I had cancer, the tests, mamms, ultra sounds, and a bunch more...all of my treatment and surgery and medications were paid for....Everything! I feel that in such stressful times, and some are ongoing and never ending, All Americans, old and young, rich and less rich, pre-existing condition or not....All have and deserve the right to Universal Health Care.... Please do not let anyone decide who should live or die or suffer...we can afford it....who is brave enough to donate those campaign donations to create and Implement this oh so important subject....history will remember!!

  • tagged My grandson's treatment #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-26 06:06:52 -0400

    My grandson's treatment #DAresists #Medicare4all

    My grandson, who is now 11 years old and living in Montreal, was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was 1 year old. This particular tumor does not metastasize, but it is life-threatening because as it grows in the brain it destroys other brain tissue. Especially in a child’s brain, it can be quite damaging. My grandson has been in active treatment for about six of his eleven years and under observation and monitoring for four years. Active treatment has included several kinds of chemotherapy and a 12-hour surgery to reduce the size of the tumor. Monitoring includes weekly appointments at the pediatric hospital for assessments including regular MRIs to track the tumor’s size, checks on his physical and cognitive development to assess the impact of the tumor on his brain, nutritional consultation given the impact of the chemotherapy on his appetite, etc. He has therefore had regular treatment by a large team of pediatric specialists. Total cost to his parents: nothing. Both his parents are musicians and could not have afforded private insurance that would have paid for this treatment. Throughout this, and except for the regular hospital visits, he has led a normal life. He is a charming and active young person with a very positive outlook on life, even though the tumor has affected his vision and his physical coordination. Early in this process, we checked with some medical contacts at major hospitals in the United States. They confirmed that the treatment he was receiving was exactly the same as he would have had at the best hospitals in the United States. In short, the Canadian health care system has provided excellent care over a long period at no direct cost his parents, in a case where he would have died long ago without treatment. I don’t know how much this would have cost in the US if the parents had paid directly, but I can’t imagine it would have been less than a million dollars.

  • tagged To the HEART of the matter #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-26 05:34:37 -0400

    To the HEART of the matter #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Soon after the birth of our son, he was diagnosed with Tetrology of Fallot. At age 3 he had surgery to provide a shunt for temporary relief. At age 4 he had open heart surgery. All of this was done with no cost to us, other than the income tax we happily paid. These life saving surgeries were done at Montreal Children's Hospital. Since then he has lived a productive, healthy life. Then, this year, as a 54 year old, he underwent open heart surgery again, in order to repair his original value problem, this time in Toronto. Again, at no cost to him, and a positive outcome. I personally have had a number of surgeries, e.g., gall bladder surgery and prostrate surgery. The most significant surgery, however, was in 2013, when I suffered a heart attack and had open heart surgery to deal with an aneurysm and a seriously blocked aorta. That surgery was performed in Hamilton General Hospital in Hamilton Ontario. To sum up, both my son and I have had our lives saved by heart surgery. This has been cost free under Canada's Universal healthcare. Sure, we sometimes have long waits to see our doctors for routine aches and pains. But when it came to life threatening heart problems, help was immediately at hand. The only expenses associated with were for television and, for visitors, parking fees. And, of course, taxes, which spread the cost to all, sick and well, to support such a significant healthcare system. As an American abroad, I thank the gods for Canada's healthcare. Here, healthcare is a right, not a privilege. It pains me to see what turmoil American healthcare is in, and how politicized the issue is. For my fellow citizens 'south of the border,' I wish you 'well' and hope for better healthcare soon.