Thursday, June 11, 2009
Last night I met up with a couple of friends who live in the U.S midwest. I hadn't seen them in about 7 years but they were in town visiting relatives and we managed to get together for a couple hours at a pub. They had both moved to the U.S. around 25 years ago as he opened a business up down there. It was great to see them but in the course of 2 hours a couple things came up that really shocked me.
First was that they have resident alien status in the U.S and have maintained their Canadian citizenship. A couple years ago they came to Canada and flew to Cuba (that's a Cuban beach above) for a holiday. As you know Americans are not legally allowed to travel to Cuba but us Canadians are. Anyways when they arrived back after their holiday they had to go through U.S customs and when they told them where they had been they were pulled out of line and told they could and probably would be fined for going to Cuba. They explained that they were Canadians but living in the U.S as resident aliens. That didn't seem to matter and some more threats were made. Anyways they were pretty worried but its been a couple years now and nothing did happen but it sure scared them. Seems pretty weird that you can't even visit a country. Hopefully under this new administration that might change.
The second thing that came up was the medical system. They have coverage through his business but evidently you can only go to certain hospitals that your provider lets you. They recently had to change providers as they didn't like the medical facility of the last provider. Another thing was that she had to get a needed medical procedure and she still had to pay like 1600 dollars out of her own pocket for it. I was floored. Here in Canada while our medical system is far from perfect you can go to any hospital of your choosing and almost everything is free except cosmetic surgery. While we have all seen Michael Moore's movie Sicko having friends who related personal stories really hit home. I know we here in Canada complain about wait times but really we have it good. I am certainly not cutting down the American system but I honestly believe quality medical should be available to all people and it should be free. Yes charge a monthly premium but make it geared to income. Will it cost lots of money?? Of course but don't tell me that health care isn't more important than anything. They said a lot of their friends are hoping that again under this new administration things will change.
I see all the online Poker sites are all really pushing their events that could possibly win you free entry into the Main Event of this years WSOP. One of the sites is running tv ads up here in Canada that if you win the main event and qualify through their site they will pay you an additional 10 million dollars. That is a huge chunk of change on top of the 9 million plus you will win for the event.