Monday, August 17, 2009

Health Care for All

Yikes! I thank God, literally, that I'm not an American in favour of universal health care. I would need to keep out of dark alleys...or maybe public meetings in which Democrats try to explain proposals for a public health care system. It seems that Joe and Jill Citizen in the States have been convinced that creating a health care program that offers affordable coverage for everyone is the work of the devil. A Canadian woman had been recruited for ads about the failure of our system and her need to go south of the border to get care for a life-threatening brain tumour. The fact that doctors have pointed out that she didn't have a tumour and that her condition was not terminal probably won't change much in public perception. The president has been vilified for his efforts and it has affected his popularity. Obama is also the target of a rumour that he is planning "death panels" to decide who lives and who dies under his proposed system. This allegation is both silly and evil, and it boggles the mind that it has been so widely circulated and embraced. The poster above is from the blog site of a woman who loves "God and country."

I figure that the American system is superior to ours -- for the small percentage of people who have the money to access it. In Canada we grumble about wait times and access to care, but polls show that most of us realize that the system is fair and efficient most of the time. And the statistics are out there: Canadians males live two years longer than American males while Canadian females live three years longer that their US counterparts. Our infant mortality rate is far lower, and we spend only about two-thirds, per capita, of what Americans spend on medical care. Lousy system?

I listened to some US tourists who were interviewed on the street in Toronto. They loved the city but didn't want our style of health care. One couple just came out and said that they wouldn't want to contribute to a system that might benefit poorer people who couldn't pay. The critics and fearmongers say this is communist or socialist. What is the word I'm looking for?....oh, yes, Christian.


Laurie said...

Many of the so-called born again "Christians" are the ones opposing the health care proposals.
They are arranging rallies and pushing T.V. stations for ads against Obama. They hold a lot of power and money in States.
I just say thanks for living in a "Socialist" country.

Deborah Laforet said...

We were in Michigan this summer visiting family, and Jeff got into a discussion about health care with some of my extended family. I heard later that it didn't go too well. Jeff was definitely in the minority. I couldn't believe how closed-minded they sounded when they spoke of having to support people who really didn't deserve free health care. I thought, "This is how my family thinks?!" One of the many reasons I love living in Canada. I wish courage and strength to President Obama and his administration.

lionlamb said...

The Religious Right in the States is a powerful lobby. Fortunately many religious groups, including some evangelicals, are supporting President Obama's initiative.

I will be spending time with American family members as well, and wonder if the topic will arise. I am taken aback by the amount of orchestrated misinformation out there. These proposals will benefit low income workers far more than those on social assistance. Of the nearly 50 million people without health insurance a significant percentage are those who work but can't afford coverage.