Time for a little national pride...

Both pumpkin and observer have mad correct assumptions on the state of public health care in Canada. For quick cancer treatment and other serious illnesses that require rapid intervention, many canadians have to cross the border or pay out of pocket at private clinics in Canada. There have been many funding cuts in health care in many Canadian provinces over the last few years which has created long waiting lists for many medical procedures. This is the downfall of our public health system as pumpkin stated. However observer is correct that basic and decent health care is available to everyone. The the result of this is the average citizen is probably seen by a doctor more often and is healthier in general than in most other countries including the U.S. This system is certainly not without a lot of problems and is currently a topic of hot debate throughout much of Canada.

Magnus, you seem to be a very level-headed fellow. I think we’d be friends. There is much to admire about Canada.
As you indicated, Health Care is not a clear-cut issue. We have liberals here in America that constantly state that Universal Health Care is the way to go. To them it is nothing short of a miracle cure. It is NOT okay to spend 60% on taxes. That stunts growth. That discourages individual initiative. Why work harder to reach a higher tax bracket if you end up paying far more in taxes? I am curious if flee (or whatever his name is) would tell me just how much in taxes he/she pays? Please be honest because I can simply look it up for you.
Magnus, as you pointed out, Universal Health Care has many very serious shortcomings. Cost, lack of research and development, waiting time, and physician pay are some of them. People like observer would look at the numbers of uninsured and state that there are 30 million Americans who do not have access to any health-care. That is totally false. Our emergency departments do a large volume of health-care for the uninsured. You must also remember that many doctors, out of the goodness of their heart, see patients free of charge. I would submit that each American has access to at least some health-care. Remember that we also have a large immigrant population that also receives at least some health care.
Our health care system trully shines when you look at research and development. I challenge the guy working on the PHD to use his investigational skills. Take any procedure or organ system and look at where the treatments were developed and perfected. Look at 99% of the drug treatments. The argument that Canada and Europe do not have the population to compete is ridiculous. I want that person to compare the above mentioned items with the rest of the WORLD. We have 270 million. The total population of the globe is over 6 billion.
In summary, I acknowledge that our health care system has it’s shortcomings. Infant mortality is one of them. It is not as easy as access to prenatal care equals reduced infant mortality. I can think of one paper that showed definitively that when you control for access to health care, some ethnic groups still have a higher infant mortality rate. We have a very diverse population. Our challenge is to identify and treat whatever variables contribute to the infant mortality rate.
I do not think that any reasonable person could deny that the United States has the finest health care system in the world. We have MANY people from all over the world coming to the U.S. for health care. Taken alone, that proves my argument without a doubt. Thank you for your attention.

How are we throwing our weight around? By keeping Osama bin fascist or Saddam Insane from owning Saudi Arabia? Maybe it’s our aid to Israel? I’ve had alot of Europeans tell me that we got what was coming to us because of Israel. Well, unlike the UN and Britain (led the way in Israel’s creation) we’ve decided not to leave them hanging high and dry with enemies all around them. See, we decided to bear some responsibility in making sure that once Israel was recognized we’d aid them in defending themselves. the UN and individual nations have decided to leave them to face the wolves. If I sound a bit angry towards Europe (and a few other nations), I am. Specifically, their bleeding heart media. They whine about the number of Afghan Civilian casulties. Really, and how many civilian casulties came out of WW1 and 2? I forgot, only Europe has the right to defend its self. How about the moaning and gnashing of teeth over the “brutal treatment” of the Taliban and Al quada prisoners in Cuba, the Euro media kept going on and on about. Let’s compare that to how they treated our Navy SEAL;t the one that was injured and unarmed. They shot him in the back of the head execution style. Why is it that many hate us? Because many hate seeing our products and cultural influence being taken up by their own citizens. That’s not our fault since an individual decides freely what kind of music they will listen to or how they will dress. We our not to blame if Fundamentalist clerics feel that our influence is destabilizing their way of life and their power.

All of this anti-Canada, anti-USA, from what. We have to get over this type of bullshit people. Canada and the USA are the closest thing since peanut butter and jam. You people have to get over the bashing and just be happy with the standings both of our countries achieved at the Games. It was the best standing Canada had ever received and as well for the Americans. Hockey was won by the Canaidian team and not by Gretzky. He is and always will be the best hockey player that ever lived. He is a formidable business man who is worth his weight in gold when it comes too making something work. Lets try to stick together here. Patriotism goes very far, but when people start acting like a bunch of mindless fucks by (doing mines better than yours) it comes to a screeching halt and only makes the person look like a fucking idiot. Carry on as if you were normal…GOOD LUCK

Pumpkin Pie, my tax situation is unique because I am a student and am paid via a stipend from the national science and engineering research council in addition to a couple other scholarships/bursaries. As a result, I made around $27000 last year and with tax exemptions for tuition and months in school, as well as for the scholarship and my personal exemption in Alberta, plus $4000 in tax deductible RRSP contributions, I won’t pay any tax for last year. This is not normal though and is merely a reflection of my source of payment and student status. I can’t remember stats for higher income brackets, I’ll check it out and get back to you if I get a chance. Or you can look them up and let me know if I’m wrong. As for the Canada/US/Europe research thing, I was only comparing the population/resources of Canada vs. the USA. Look, I’m well aware that the American institutions make the most significant contribution to the advancement of medical research of all nations, but to overlook the important and numerous contributions of researchers in other countries is arrogant. It’s also worth noting that many researchers from other countries relocate to the USA for more prominent positions, despite receiving training/initiating research at foreign institutions (same goes for many researchers relocating to Canada).