Friday November 16, 2012

Canadians probably still laughing at our system

My wife and I took a vacation in Maine in mid-September. In the lobby of the motel where guests flock for free coffee, I ran into two couples from Toronto. It didn’t take long for the Canadians to swing the conversation over to a subject that truly baffles them: How in the world can the United States cling to a health care system that is so obviously broken and unfair and expensive?

Adding to their bewilderment is the fact that the entire rest of the Western world has abandoned this foolish model.

I told my Canadian friends that I was not an advocate of the American system and asked them how they felt about the many scare stories about the Canadian system have been floated by American opponents of a Canadian-style system. You know, the very scare stories floated here in Vermont on a regular basis by the people and groups dedicated to killing our state’s effort to get to a single-payer system.

All four of the Canadians laughed. And laughed some more. It took a minute or two before they could respond that the stories were bunk. Other than longer waits for some tests and to see some specialists, they love their system. And all four of these people chimed in that the long waits aren’t nearly as "dangerous" as portrayed in the scare stories -- the stronger the need for the test or the specialist, the shorter the wait.

I told them what my wife and I pay for health insurance: a $4,000 deductible, plus some $800 per month in premiums, plus co-pays.


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I didn’t get into the rules about "out of network" approvals, or the frequent disputes and misunderstandings about exactly what is covered if you are sick enough to exceed the $4,000 deductible.

I think my Canadian friends are still laughing.

LEE RUSS

Bennington Regarding animal control services and dogs

I’m glad the town will send a letter to the owners of the uncontrolled dogs. That’s like closing the barn door after the cow gets out. The solution is after a complaint is received by the police department the dogs are seized by the animal control officer and then due process can proceed with a safe neighborhood.

LEONARD LEVINE

Bennington

Campaign for House was a positive experience

I am writing to thank all of my supporters in my recent run for state representative in District 2.1.

For anyone thinking about running for office I would urge you to do so. My experience was extremely positive and my representatives have earned a whole new level of respect from me. I used to teach my chess club students that one always learns more from a defeat than a victory. So I do not look upon my efforts as a failure as much as they have been a learning opportunity.

I met hundreds of people and learned much about the values and needs of our citizens. I entered this race with great respect for both of my competitors and that has not changed. With representatives as dedicated as Tim Corcoran and Brian Campion our voters in Bennington can not lose.

WARREN ROAF

Bennington