A friend who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, recently left her high-pressure job for one with less stress and two months off per year. Deb and her partner, Mike, who are both in their mid- to late 50s, wanted more time to travel and enjoy a more relaxed life. Fortunately, because of Canada’s single-payer system, one problem Deb never had to consider was whether her new employer offered health care benefits.
During our visit last fall, Deb and Mike also said they were completely satisfied with their health care, which they have enjoyed all of their adult lives, and couldn’t imagine a person’s health coverage being dependent on their job. So-called job lock because of benefits along with medical bankruptcy sounds particularly bizarre and backwards. Our friends also feel that whatever they pay in taxes is more than made up by lack of premiums.
Canadians, incidentally, have a life expectancy three years longer than us and spend substantially less per capita for their health care. One main reason is administrative simplicity, hospitals included. There is enough stress in life without worrying about health care coverage, employer-based or otherwise.
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