The Zoey Blog: Thankful to be Canadian FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thankful to be Canadian

There I times I don't even think twice about my nationality...times I pay almost no attention to it. Most times I don't even differentiate between myself and my friends in the States. Then I'm reminded of the differences reading something like this, and I'm oh-so thankful that I was born on this side of the St. Clair River. I don't worry about getting sick.

The previously linked article on onefineday shocked me into thankfulness. A family of four paying $1650 a month in health care premiums!? A jump that forced the family to opt for a cheaper plan that only cost a modest $1000 a month. I'd die. No wait. I wouldn't be able to afford to die.

I know enough about the US Health Care System to know that not every family is on the hook for that kind of cash. There are great health care plans via great employers, and certainly not every insurance bill is going to look that ugly, but I also know that I don't pay a dime deeper than what my taxes pull out of my pocket. We had a baby...didn't cost anything. I found myself in the hospital in another country...didn't cost me anything. I was hit by a car when I was a kid and spent what felt like half my young life in a bloody hospital bed that summer and fall...didn't cost anything.

$1000 a month in health care!? I'd need a second job and a therapist for the anxiety.

There are plenty of things that make me proud to be Canadian, but the fact that the health of my family isn't in the hands of insurance companies is near the top of the list. There's that, of course, and also the idea that the best university education in Canada will cost you the same as the worst, that we don't necessarily enjoy the right to bare arms, that public education has yet to decay and falter, that there are more than two political parties, that we are neither a militarized nation or crippled by the prison-industrial complex (yet), that we have an economy not entirely overextended, and that Justin Bieber is ours. Of course, we have our myriad of problems, but paying for childbirth or a broken leg isn't one of them (but Justin Bieber might be).

I love America. It's an incredible place, and there may not be another thing on planet earth that promises as much and can deliver, but I'm happy and thankful I live here, where freedom won't ever cost me my health.


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