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No… Canadian common medical insurance is NOT like visiting an underfunded American DMV …

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I keep hearing the “fake news” Republican talking point that compares government-run universal health insurance to a visit to a Department of Moter Vehicles office — more precisely to an underfunded DMV that is short on staff and time-saving technology.

I live in Canada — and want to share my experience today with Canada’s medicare (the British Columbia version) for you to toss in the face of any red-capped relatives or workplace blowhards you hear trying to peddle this particular insurance-lobby/Republican lie.

I was working the soil in my garden with ungloved hands and sliced my finger on a shard of glass.  The shard pushed a whole bunch of dirt into the wound. I haven’t had a tetanus shot in ten years, but — this being Canada and all — here’s what I did to fix that.

  1. Phoned my local corner pharmacy to make sure they weren’t too busy. (I could have picked any pharmacy in the province, because in a universal scheme, they all participate. (There is no such thing as “in-system” or “out system” — that is an American construct.)
  2. Drove to the not-busy pharmacy, where they already had my personal info on file (from earlier prescriptions).  Alternately, I could have just shown them my government-issued health insurance card.
  3. Filled out a two-minute medical questionnaire for the pharmacist.
  4. Sat down while the pharmacist gave me the shot — five minutes after I arrived at the store. 
    • No lineup
    • No waiting
    • No “take a number”
  5. For tetanus — no need even see a doctor
  6. The pharmacist billed the government health insurance for the drug and for his dispensing fee
  7. .Neither the pharmacist nor I had to inform or seek permission from a bureaucrat for this charge to be authorized — it is authorized because I am a citizen and because tetanus shots are covered for everyone.  Simple as that.
  8. There is no requirement for follow-up paperwork — all pharmacies are online with the government insurance plan

“Now,”
   you can ask your MAGA-hat-wearing person,
“Does that sound like a DMV office to you?”

Pause.

Wait for squirming.


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