My cousin lives in Canada and works at a university, shelving books in the library. He told me the other day that he had to start taking a cholesterol-lowering drug. It's one of those name-brands you see advertised on TV all the time, sandwiched between the erectile dysfunction and gold investment commercials.
It really works, too. I was on it for a while, and my numbers looked great. The doctor was pleased.
Then my company changed health insurance plans, and under the new formula for drugs, the same pill was going to start costing me around $60 to $100 per month (for some reason, the price kept changing). My doctor switched me to a generic, which didn't work quite as well, but was a lot cheaper.
My cousin told me that under his plan, the Ontario Health Plan, he gets that drug for $3 a month.
Now, he pays more in taxes on his salary than I pay. But then, he doesn't have that big fat deduction for his health insurance premium that I have.
You can call his system "socialism" if you want. You can call ours "good old-fashioned American market-driven capitalism."
Either way, I call it dollars I don't have. At least my cousin gets something back.