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  #1  
Old November 11th, 2012, 06:10 AM
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Default Free Universal Healthcare

We should be embarrassed. All of us......

When medical tourism becomes widespread, something is amiss. When our arch-enemy, Cuba has better healthcare than we do, something is really amiss.

Here are the facts of healthcare in the Western World:

How the United States ranks:

9th in life expectancy (behind Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom)
highest (by twice) in infant mortality
highest (by twice) in healthcare expenditure
highest (by twice) in healthcare by GDP
lowest (by twice) in healthcare paid by government.

The sole reason the United States lags so far behind the Western World is its lack of free universal healthcare. (CBS News, 5 June 2009)

So let's talk about free universal healthcare.

Let's start with the arch-enemy of the United States, Cuba. Cuba (one of the Western Hemisphere's poorer nations) offers its citizens free universal healthcare. Its healthcare system bests the United States in several categories:

proportion of nation's GDP (7.3% vs USA 16%)
AIDS: 1/6 the rate in USA
Life expectancy: 78.26 years, USA 77.99 years (World Bank Data, 2007)
Infant mortality rate: 6.5, USA 7.6 (World Bank Data, 2007)
Number of physicians/dentists: 627/94 per 100,000, USA 225/54 (World Bank Data, 2005)
(Cuba's rankings despite United States embargo)

The nations of the Western World have free universal healthcare. Yes -- socialized healthcare.

So who are these non-communist nations with socialized healthcare?

Andorra
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bhutan
Brazil
Brunei
Bulgaria
Canada
Colombia
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Greenland
Hong Kong SAR
Hungary
Iceland
India
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Kuwait
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Malta
Mexico
Monaco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Pakistan
Panama
Peru
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
San Marino
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Seychelles
Singapore
Slovakia
South Korea
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Trinidad and Tobago
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Venezuela.

The only nation not on this list is the United States. 71 non-Communist, Western-World nations have free universal healthcare. -- the only nation in the Western World without free universal healthcare is the United States.

Some say socialized anything is a bad thing. The same people who enjoy the many socialized services of the United States.....

The United States has socialized many services (except free universal healthcare), including fire department services, police services, elementary through high school education, and library services.

So why not healthcare? Why is it that the wealthiest nation in the world will allow its citizens to be bankrupt by healthcare costs? 2/3's of all personal bankrupties in the United States are due to healthcare costs. (CBS News 5 June 2009) (Society of General Internal Medicine, 22 June 2009) Why do our citizens accept a substandard healthcare system? And then too often go bankrupt paying for it?

Why is it that our seniors travel to Canada for their prescription drugs? Why is it that many of our citizens go abroad for their healthcare?

If our healthcare system is so great, that it's the envy of the World, why is it that no other nation in the world wants our healthcare system?

It's time to bring the United States' healthcare system up to the standards of the rest of the world. The time for ninth-best is over.....

It's time that every single person in this nation has free universal healthcare.

No citizen of the wealthiest nation in the world should ever be bankrupt because of healthcare costs.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 08:58 AM
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It was time for our health care to be redone, and soon we will have it, but it won't be free, nor are several things you listed. If you rent, or own your home, you pay for Fire, police, etc through taxes. It is not free.

It is my understanding that we will start seeing the cost this coming year, and then we will know if it is what we wanted.

I hope it works.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Besides, most counties and large cities have general hospitals, of which includes trauma centers, so Obama Care double dips. As an example, Harris County/Houston has two county-owned general hospitals, Ben Taub and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Then, there are 12 free hospitals under the Memorial-Hermann flag. Not to be outdone there is the Christus health group which is a Catholic Church hospital group under St. Joseph Hospital and 13 clinics.

I guess we are just fortunate to have so many free or low income hospitals in the area.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 10:38 AM
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Statistics are a wonderful thing to quote, when they are using the same methodology. In the case of infant mortality rates, not all countries use the same reporting method. This report is useful in explaining it. Even though it is 10 years old the facts included are still relevant.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 11:10 AM
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The first thing Health care in Canada isn't free. All citizens pay for it thru their taxes to the Government. Basic health care is provide a low cost but may things aren't included. Unless you pay extra premiums you don't get free prescription medicine from the drugstore . Because of policies set the Provinces (money transferred from federal taxes) some medication and routine tests aren't included .
At work my health plan (basic , extended , drugs & dental) are included in my wage as a taxable benefit .
Yes we have socialized medicine but it isn't free.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 11:51 AM
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I guess we are just fortunate to have so many free or low income hospitals in the area.
In America, if you're poor and you get cancer, you will not be treated. Not even in Harris County. Yes, those hospitals will give you aspirin or perhaps something stronger before sending you away. The American system only gives comprehensive medical treatment to those who work or worked at a company that provides medical coverage, the rich, and the elderly.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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In America, if you're poor and you get cancer, you will not be treated. Not even in Harris County. Yes, those hospitals will give you aspirin or perhaps something stronger before sending you away. The American system only gives comprehensive medical treatment to those who work or worked at a company that provides medical coverage, the rich, and the elderly.
Not true, the wife and I worked at Memorial Hermann for over a decade and witnessed the poor who were wracked with cancer get the needed treatment and survived. When I had cancer, I was subjected to the multitudes of where to go to get the needed treatment. At the time, 1980, I did not have insurance. People suggested MD Anderson which is actually a surgical hospital and treats cancer with surgery. I chose the Catholic hospital, St. Joseph, and the doctors used experimnetal procedures to get me the care I needed. The nuns as nurses kept my spirits high and I am proud to say that I am still in remission after stage three melanoma. I paid not one penny because I had no money.

When my second wife had stage four metastic breast cancer, we chose Memorial Hermann and now, after 13 years, she is in remission. No money out of our pocket. We heard and continue to hear horror stories of fellow employees who have been through the same cancer horror and went to other, for-profit hospitals, and had to pay out of their pockets and are still in dire straits.

I find it incredible that those who have never even stood in my shoes, much less walked the proverbial mile in them, can make such claims when they have no idea. All they can do is rain upon others' parades. They must be miserable inside...
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Old November 11th, 2012, 12:46 PM
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Would Catholic Hospitals be semi-socialized for a number of reasons including tax-free status? How do the free hospitals operate (pun intended)?
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Old November 11th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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If a hospital operates for profit it does not become exempt in some states. If it is nonprofit it can be exempt.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 01:13 PM
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Not true, the wife and I worked at Memorial Hermann for over a decade and witnessed the poor who were wracked with cancer get the needed treatment and survived. When I had cancer, I was subjected to the multitudes of where to go to get the needed treatment. At the time, 1980, I did not have insurance. People suggested MD Anderson which is actually a surgical hospital and treats cancer with surgery. I chose the Catholic hospital, St. Joseph, and the doctors used experimnetal procedures to get me the care I needed. The nuns as nurses kept my spirits high and I am proud to say that I am still in remission after stage three melanoma. I paid not one penny because I had no money.

When my second wife had stage four metastic breast cancer, we chose Memorial Hermann and now, after 13 years, she is in remission. No money out of our pocket. We heard and continue to hear horror stories of fellow employees who have been through the same cancer horror and went to other, for-profit hospitals, and had to pay out of their pockets and are still in dire straits.

I find it incredible that those who have never even stood in my shoes, much less walked the proverbial mile in them, can make such claims when they have no idea. All they can do is rain upon others' parades. They must be miserable inside...
Sorry Mehawk, you are not correct. Hospitals can and do turn all sorts of uninsured patients away, everyday, all day. This may not have been the case in that one hospital, but it is many other places.

Links:

Cancer v. the Constitution Dr. Jen Gunter

Do cancer patients without health insurance get treatment ? | Answerbag

'Rest Of The Country Should Take A Good Look At The Situation In Texas' - Kaiser Health News

Waiting Room: Documentary Looks at Hospital of Last Resort - ABC News
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Old November 11th, 2012, 01:21 PM
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Would Catholic Hospitals be semi-socialized for a number of reasons including tax-free status? How do the free hospitals operate (pun intended)?
Catholics, for the most part, are liberals and welcome the sitting POTUS and his ideas for the country. Thus, for the most part, they welcome the socialized ideas as they wish to help the needy. I do not mind helping the needy myself as long as they are truly needy. Grants, whether governmental or private, plus those who can and do pay full price for medical attention, allow these free hospitals to operate. Here, the hospital district charges an annual tax based upon our property values.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Free? Are you kidding me? Where in the he__ have you been all your life? You have a EBT card mentality. Free Food! Free Rent! Free Cellphone! Free School Lunches! It' only free to most who have chosen that way of life and not the poor slob with self esteem who goes to work every day and pays for that Free Stuff. You are entitled to what you earn and a helping hand when needed. You are not entitled to anything else. I think your parents locked you in a cellar for good reason. You are such an a__hole!
If you think most of the poor are getting stuff for free, you have never been poor sir.

At one time in my life we were on food stamps. Worked really hard to get off them and the others going through the programs did also. I was employed at the time. It helped me feed my family at that time of my life.

I am proud as an American that we have decided as a people to have safety nets for our population. It reduces crime, reliance on expensive emergency room care we all pay for, and make us ALL better. Sorry you do see that.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 01:26 PM
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Sorry Mehawk, you are not correct. Hospitals can and do turn all sorts of uninsured patients away, everyday, all day. This may not have been the case in that one hospital, but it is many other places.

Links:

Cancer v. the Constitution Dr. Jen Gunter

Do cancer patients without health insurance get treatment ? | Answerbag

'Rest Of The Country Should Take A Good Look At The Situation In Texas' - Kaiser Health News

Waiting Room: Documentary Looks at Hospital of Last Resort - ABC News
Mars, I do speak of my own experiences not the experiences of others, unlike some of our fellow cruisemates. Perhaps I was not clear. I am referring to free hospitals, not for profit hospitals. In the case of for profits, yes, they do turn people away.

Even the story that you identified about the Texas situation actually reflects well upon the Houston. Harris County area. It also reiterates my mentioning of the tax-payer subsidies that operate the hospital district. The main character of the story went to a doctor in San Antonio and wanted a colonostrophy. He was told to wait 6 months. He, instead, came to Houston and went to one of the hospitals I mentioned and he was seen and cancer found and he was treated at a very reduced rate. Many of the people that go to these hospitals do not have insurance but they have mild illnesses such as a cold, fever, or ache. These are the ones who have to wait for extended periods of time and get angry because they are pushed back by the dying ahead of them in line. Well done!
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Last edited by mehawk; November 11th, 2012 at 01:37 PM.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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If you think most of the poor are getting stuff for free, you have never been poor sir.

At one time in my life we were on food stamps. Worked really hard to get off them and the others going through the programs did also. I was employed at the time. It helped me feed my family at that time of my life.

I am proud as an American that we have decided as a people to have safety nets for our population. It reduces crime, reliance on expensive emergency room care we all pay for, and make us ALL better. Sorry you do see that.
Myself brother! It ain't pretty and is very humbling. I have walked along roads gathering aluminum cans before to feed a family of four.

As I have stated before, I am an independent. I want the best for all Americans. I could be a libertarian but they back lawful marijuana and abortion. I don't.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 04:22 PM
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Catholics, for the most part, are liberals . . .
That sums up Michael's worldview.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 08:04 PM
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I was saddened to read that as well.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 01:58 AM
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Healthcare is not a right! We don't need socialized medicine in this country. If a person cannot afford their healthcare then they don't need to go to a doctor, it is about personal responsibility, too many people just don't want to be responsible for themselves.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 03:35 AM
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Yup. Sick people should just die, and quit being a burden on the rest of us.
Personally, I think those who didnt take full advantage of our education system should be exterminated as well, for wasting our tax dollars by turning out stupid.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
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That sums up Michael's worldview.
As a member of the Pastoral Council for the previous two years as well as a current Eucharistic Minister of the Catholic Parish of which I am a member of, I speak from experience. The Catholic Church looks to spread the wealth.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 09:08 AM
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Healthcare is not a right! We don't need socialized medicine in this country. If a person cannot afford their healthcare then they don't need to go to a doctor, it is about personal responsibility, too many people just don't want to be responsible for themselves.
I disagree. I believe healthcare is a basic human right. I believe you can support this by our founding documents - the Declaration of Independence.

"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase is meant to exemplify the "unalienable rights" with which all human beings are endowed by their Creator and for the protection of which they institute governments." (Wikipedia)

How does one purse happiness if one is ill?

Our society is not static it is ever evolving as we, together, learn how to live together in this vibrant and diverse country. We are WAY behind the rest of the world on health care and it is time we stopped looking to the past and move forward.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 09:11 AM
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As a member of the Pastoral Council for the previous two years as well as a current Eucharistic Minister of the Catholic Parish of which I am a member of, I speak from experience. The Catholic Church looks to spread the wealth.
My best friend is Catholic and he will tell you that the Catholic Church is made up of both Conservatives and Liberals. I believe that is healthy, unlike, say the Southern Baptist Denomination who are likely 90% Conservative. You loose perspective and the truth by just listening to one side all the time.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 09:30 AM
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In the 1950's Canada went to Universal Healthcare. The costs have gone sky high and service is poor . Some might not agree with that statement but here some facts
1 - Knee & hip replacement 12 to 24 months (not done if you are still working)
2 - Colonoscopy (sp?) aren't done even for cancer screening
3 - Many routine screening tests aren't done in Canada

If Canada was setting up Universal Health Care to-day we probably would go with a combination of user pay and public health care. In many countries Health care dollars go with the patient not the system overall.
This means the user controls what his portion is spent on , not the government .
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Old November 12th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kamloops Cruiser View Post
In the 1950's Canada went to Universal Healthcare. The costs have gone sky high and service is poor . Some might not agree with that statement but here some facts
1 - Knee & hip replacement 12 to 24 months (not done if you are still working)
2 - Colonoscopy (sp?) aren't done even for cancer screening
3 - Many routine screening tests aren't done in Canada

If Canada was setting up Universal Health Care to-day we probably would go with a combination of user pay and public health care. In many countries Health care dollars go with the patient not the system overall.
This means the user controls what his portion is spent on , not the government .
No system will be perfect. There are many countries with UC, a good plan would be based on what is best in them and try to avoid what doesn't work.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 02:43 PM
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Fact: Canadians have a higher life expectancy than Americans.
I guess socialized medicine aint so bad after all, even with all those missed tests.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamloops Cruiser View Post
In the 1950's Canada went to Universal Healthcare. The costs have gone sky high and service is poor . Some might not agree with that statement but here some facts
1 - Knee & hip replacement 12 to 24 months (not done if you are still working)
2 - Colonoscopy (sp?) aren't done even for cancer screening
3 - Many routine screening tests aren't done in Canada

If Canada was setting up Universal Health Care to-day we probably would go with a combination of user pay and public health care. In many countries Health care dollars go with the patient not the system overall.
This means the user controls what his portion is spent on , not the government .
Just a note.. in Alberta (where I reside) just about every male friend I have, and many of the women I know, have had colonoscopys.

I'm not sure what routine screening you're referring to that isn't done. But I get routine blood work every 3 months, and other than people telling me of having to wait for MRIs, I've not heard of people saying they can't get tested.

I also know several people (still working not retired) who have knees replaced. One friend had both knees done at the same time... a high pain threshold I guess. He did have to wait about 8 months for a date.

Elective surgeries can certainly be in que for awhile; depending on what, it could be a year. Waits in Emergency Rooms can be 6-8 hours if it's a busy day/night, depending on the severity of the problem you present with.

Our health system certainly has plenty of flaws and short comings and I imagine it varies somewhat from Province to Province.

We're facing somewhat of a shortage in General Practicitioners, and it can, on occassion take a month or more to get in to see a specialist. But, if the illness is acute the care is fairly quick... and decent.

But no one faces going bankrupt if they get sick and face devastating hospital care costs.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 06:55 PM
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Kuki> That sounds just awful.... How do you guys manage?
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Old November 12th, 2012, 07:27 PM
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Just a note.. in Alberta (where I reside) just about every male friend I have, and many of the women I know, have had colonoscopys.

I'm not sure what routine screening you're referring to that isn't done. But I get routine blood work every 3 months, and other than people telling me of having to wait for MRIs, I've not heard of people saying they can't get tested.

I also know several people (still working not retired) who have knees replaced. One friend had both knees done at the same time... a high pain threshold I guess. He did have to wait about 8 months for a date.

Elective surgeries can certainly be in que for awhile; depending on what, it could be a year. Waits in Emergency Rooms can be 6-8 hours if it's a busy day/night, depending on the severity of the problem you present with.

Our health system certainly has plenty of flaws and short comings and I imagine it varies somewhat from Province to Province.

We're facing somewhat of a shortage in General Practicitioners, and it can, on occassion take a month or more to get in to see a specialist. But, if the illness is acute the care is fairly quick... and decent.

But no one faces going bankrupt if they get sick and face devastating hospital care costs.
Kuki
In BC we can't get a colonoscopys , I've asked my doctor for one and said that I can't get one because BC Med won't pay for it. My DW needed an emergency one , it took 6 weeks to get it and she can't have another one for 7 years. I can only certain blood test every 3 months and others only every 2 years. Yes every province has it's own rules and can only talk about what I have seen and experienced. We are tempted to go to the US and get a colonoscopys in Wash or Calif.
My Doctor told me that unless I'm retired they won't even consider any replacements unless there is a genetic reason for it.
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  #28  
Old November 12th, 2012, 07:31 PM
Aidan Aidan is offline
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Originally Posted by Kuki View Post

But no one faces going bankrupt if they get sick and face devastating hospital care costs.
And that is the difference between the United States and Canada.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 07:37 PM
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I also think Canada covers most of the College and University tuition....
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Old November 12th, 2012, 07:53 PM
Luanne Russo Luanne Russo is offline
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You know although it is interesting to see what Canada has to go through, it really doesn't matter here in the US, because we already have our new system, and it will be fully in effect in the next couple of years, that not even the Surpremes could over turn.

As P said, once it was approved, is when we finally get to see what we have.

Most likely many will love it, and some will hate it, but I just hope we can afford it.
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