Congratulations America — The Affordable Care Act is the Law of the Land

An Open Letter to My Neighbo(u)rs

Dear America,

Congratulations that “the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.” Improve and modify rather than repeal and replace should be the way forward.

My twins were born pre-mature. They spent 7 months in the hospital before we brought them home. Guess what our hospital bill was? Zero. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. Meanwhile, I took the 9 months parental leave. That’s right 9 months parental leave so I could help care for our babies. Did I mention I’m Canadian?

When I studied in the US, when my son who is a US citizen and is also severely disabled was first denied coverage (but pressured by my school to accept him), then in our first semester with insurance we racked up a $10,000 bill just getting him set up with the various specialists that he needed. It was sometime before he received Medicaid.

For More about My Son See: Where the Sidewalks End

Everyone agrees that the insurance system in the US is broken but other countries like my own have working (though of course not perfect models) to imitate and improve upon. Despite the insurance problems, the healthcare my son received while living in the USA was phenomenal and some very expensive procedures were covered by charitable organizations like the Shriners.

Nevertheless, don’t believe the lies that many Republicans tell you about Canadian healthcare. I know of no one who has travelled to the US out of necessity. Of course there are wait times as there are in the US. Before our twins were born, we were told that my wife might have to be flown to Seattle due to the lack of beds in the NICU at the time. Yet, guess who wasn’t going to pay for it — our single income family. I know of another man who petitioned to be treated with an experimental procedure in the Netherlands. He made his case and was granted permission — guess who paid for it — hint: not him.

In Canada, I choose my doctors and they are never “out of network”. If someone needs something that is only available in another country, then guess who pays for it — the government. Yes, I know that means that we the taxpayers are ultimately paying for it but that’s because we care about one another. Nevertheless, I have never paid as much in taxes as families in the US pay for the most basic health insurance.

If you want to unite Americans, then unite by caring for one another by paying for one another’s healthcare.
That’s my two Canadian cents. They may be worth less but they are not worthless.

Further Reading: Washington Post