This guest post is provided to you by Johnna Cornett, an Our Thoughts reader living in California. If youâ€™d like to be a guest poster on Our Thoughts, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
They’re talking about the Canadian health care system all day long on the radio down here in the United States.
I’m hearing great anecdotes, like that one reason Canada works is that it has fewer people than California, and that someone couldn’t get health insurance in California because her injuries treated for free in Canada (hit by a car while she was on her bicycle) were considered a pre-existing condition in the States.
And I find, I’m really no closer to understanding what the Canadian health care system is really like. On one hand, I’m hearing a lot of stories about waiting four months to see a primary care physician, and long waits to have one’s cancer treated, hospital beds in halls, or 19th-century style 20 beds to a room. On the other hand, I’m hearing about the peace of mind of being able to see a doctor whether you’ve changed jobs, to get health care whether or not you have a pre-existing condition. I’m hearing it’s easier to start a business if healthcare is not one of the overheads.
I had a baby when my husband was between jobs. We lost our COBRA coverage though a paperwork error, and then I couldn’t be insured because I was pregnant. Pretty big consequence for paperwork. So I’ve had a baby on a cash basis, knowing I had no way to cover the expenses if my child was born with any complications. I don’t think I really got what it was like to be uninsured until it happened to me. I don’t think I understood the difficulty of getting insurance once you’re in that class of uninsured. And I thought the health insurance paperwork was bad enough when I was family-of-an-employee.
So, you LDS Canadian insiders, what is it really like getting health care in Canada?
Do you have to be clever at navigating bureaucracy to get care? To see a doctor you respect? It’s not atypical here to have to fight the paperwork fight when your insurance decides something wasn’t covered. What’s the analogy there?
And does the Canadian system have challenges when you’re LDS?
Do they give you a hard time about having lots of children? (Actually, that’s happened to me in California.) Do you worry about resources going to abortions? Is care being withheld from the elderly?