Wealth in Your Locality

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Re: Wealth in Your Locality

Postby linguoboy » Tue 06 Oct 2009 5:29 pm

Talib wrote:Anyway, Canada has a relatively egalitarian distribution of wealth, I think. Poorer provinces ("have-nots") receive subsidies in the form of transfer payments from the richer provinces in order to stimulate their economies and ensure the disparities between regions don't become too drastic.

Something similar happens in the USA although it isn't formalised in the same way. According to the Cato Institute, 42% of State and local spending comes out of Federal funds. Rich states (e.g. Illinois, California, New York, etc.) typically receive back 75-80¢ for every dollar they pay in Federal taxes whereas the poorest states (e.g. Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, etc.) get back up to $2. A report issued in 2004 showed that for DC, this figure was a whopping $6.17. (Doubtless a consequence of it having far more Federal facilities than anyplace else and virtually no tax base.)
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Re: Wealth in Your Locality

Postby Sobekhotep » Wed 07 Oct 2009 2:31 am

Zachary wrote:
formiko wrote:While I've never gotten sick in Canada, why is Canada constantly lampooned as "the socialized medical system we DON'T want"? I'm not being facetious. I'm truly asking. The radio pundits constantly say "Candians always come to the US for treatment". While I have never witnessed throngs of Canadians coming for bariatric sxurgery :)

It's a fear tactic employed namely by Americans as a way to prevent the adoption of a more egalitarian health care system. By overgeneralizing that a great portion of Canadians go to the United States to get treatment, they can persuade people into believing that the adoption of a more socialized health care system will lead to the decline in medical innovations that can only be achieved in the United States' current privatized health care system.

The problem is, the majority of Americans know absolutely nothing about the Canadian health system, and that's what makes this argument quite sad. The most evident fallacy is that there aren't actually very many Canadians crossing the border merely to get 'better' treatment. The Canadians who do go to the United States do so because certain advancements or practices are not yet available in Canada. The same applies to Americans who come to Canada for medical treatment. Essentially, each and every country tends to focus on different areas of research, which enable them to specialize in certain domains better than other countries.

The second argument is that a socialized health care system leads to longer waiting periods, so these supposed Canadians cross the border for faster treatment. The obvious flaw with this is that Canada does have a private health care sector. If someone with the money really wants to get something done as soon as possible, they can. Taxes make no difference, since a Canadian will still be paying taxes for the main health care system, whether he goes through the local private sector or abroad. Thus, the private sector exists as a complementary system. The other flaw is that wait times are merely a parallel to how hospitals are organized. Some hospitals in the United States have much higher waiting periods than most in Canada, while many in Canada can be slow due to being understaffed (in regards to the population) and disorganized.

In reality though, most Canadians are quite proud of their health care system. Abuse occurs when people come in and bring their children all the time to the hospital for every little symptom, or when paranoid people return every so often to check up on whether a new treatment is miraculously available. Some Canadians would like to see these nuisances scared off by requiring a minimum fee (even if as low as 5$), so that people with actual issues can obtain faster service.

Great post! If only all Americans knew how the Canadian system really works...
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Re: Wealth in Your Locality

Postby formiko » Wed 07 Oct 2009 3:44 am

Thank you for all of your well written responses to my inquiry. I had a feeling that's the way it was.
Sure, there will be a couple of bumps in the road if and when the US implements this system. In my opinion, (which they will never consider), the US should try it out in 1 state (like North Carolina)first, before they implement it nation wide, and iron out the flaws. Or, bring some Swiss and Canadian consultants over :)
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