Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Love it or leave it, eh?

Some disgruntled Americans -- 10,942 of them last year -- are choosing to leave America and go to Canada rather than love it, according to a new study. And that's the biggest U.S.-to-Canada emigration since the Vietnam War, back when illegal immigration was somebody else's problem.

Why are they going? Most are fed up with George Bush, the Iraq War and are just afraid that America is no longer a safe place to insult a Muslim, the researchers report. Plus, you get cheaper health care.

But before you get too excited, there's a flip-side (there's always a flip-side): Last year, 23,913 Canadians moved to the USA, more than twice as many going the other way. Presumably, most are fed up with cheaper health care.


Jana said...

I could be wrong (and have been known to be wrong), seems to me I recall that an "alien" can't under any circumstances get a job in Canada without a resident sponsor, can't get housing, work, or medical care either. So all those Americans are going to have to live in parks or bars and hope their money doesn't run out before Bush is out of office and the war games are concluded.

Jill said...

We have a couple of friends who live in Canada. While they say the health care there is very good, they pay hefty taxes to have that health care.

Ron Franscell said...

Yeah, i think that's the knock on Michael Moore's "Sicko": He apparently says nations with socialized medicine have "free" health care. In fact, those nations' taxpayers pay a cumbersome tax bill for their "free" health care.

And in Canada, the wait for specialized care can be far longer than most Americans would tolerate, even though basic services tend to be done fairly quickly ... or so I hear. I'd love to hear from Canadian bloggers on this.

katrocket said...

Hi - Jana asked me to comment here. I'm a Canadian, and your assumptions are correct.

1) You need to be a Canadian citizen or an employed (Visa is required) landed immigrant to receive healthcare benefits.

2) depending on your income bracket, your wages are taxed at 17% to 56%. I'm taxed at 43%. Additionally, every Canadian pays a federal sales tax of 6% on ALL goods and services, and a provincial level sales tax of 8%. This money gets pooled into healthcare, roads, municipalities, defense, etc. Plus I pay a yearly levy of $370 CDN for OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). We cannot opt out of these tax and medicare programs. They come out of your wage. In return, we pay less for healthcare, drugs, post-secondary education, and road tolls. The US has a more user-based system than we do.

3) Michael Moore has no idea what he's talking about. He'll say anything to sway an argument his way.

4) Universal healthcare is not "free". Nothing is free, people. And we don't have the private clinic resources that you have. Most Canadians go to the US for diagnositics like MRIs and cancer therapies because demand far outweighs our capacity to supply the equipment and personnel for treatment. People die waiting for therapy here. My mother passed away in March from pancreatic cancer, because it took 5 months just to diagnose her condition.

Overall, I appreciate that all Canadians can access healthcare regardless of their earnings, but U.S. media is only telling you the good stuff. Wealthy Canadians still enjoy a better level of healthcare than lower-income earners.

Although we do benefit from is a distinct lack of Bushiness, our government suffers the same rhetoric and incompetence as anyone else's.

Sorry to be bursting any bubbles...

katrocket said...

sorry for the long post. wikipedia actually has a very accurate article on Health care in Canada if you'd like to read more.

Ron Franscell said...

Thank you, Jana and Kat! More Americans should absorb those facts (including Michael Moore.)

Having just returned from a journey into the Deep North of the Yukon, all I can say with any authority is ... I love Canada.

Bookworm said...

Someone commented (maybe James Taranto?), that the news report also overlooked the fact that there's a huge oil boom in the Alberto area, which may well be an economic incentive for Americans to head north. Considering how speculative the rest of the article is, this is certainly another speculative point to throw in.

Anonymous said...

Even people here in the US get killed by idiot doctors who cant figure out whats wrong with you but, think about how many people here in the US die because of easily cured illness because they have no access to healthcare. Anything is better than the US private enterprise medical piece of shit.Even if Mr. Moore is half right it would be better than what we have, I cant wait to leave this horrible place and I am not proud to be an American!