Thursday, June 28, 2012

Health Care!

So President Obama's health care plan was upheld by the Supreme Court today.  I of course expected all manner of wailing and gnashing of teeth, but the most bizarre reaction were tweets from folks declaring they were done with the U.S. and moving to Canada to avoid this awful health care plan.

Uhh... I'm in Canada.  They HAVE national health-care here, guys.  Best tweet I saw in response to this proposed Northern flight was "I'm sick of this heat!  I'm moving to Ethiopia!"

1 comment:

Muldfeld said...

It was a good decision. It's odd that one of George W. Bush's appointees is more moderate than those of the less extreme George H. W. Bush and Reagan. I especially hate Scalia and Thomas.

It's tragic what's happening in Canada, though. Our rightist politicians have bought into the Republican/corporate line about the unsustainability of health care and keep cutting it, while increasing funding to the military, cutting corporate taxes, and trying to privatize all sorts of health care services.

Our present Harper government has made an unprecedented decision to cut health care funding and NOT negotiate with the provinces on funding -- which puts more pressure on the provinces to come up with the money, and the general trend is for our provinces to engage in austerity. So, Canada's health care is doomed.

What's most upsetting is that so many Canadians are happy Harper's cutting all sorts of programs from which they've benefitted because they believe all sorts of stereotypes about poor people being evil and lazy. I just talked to a retired school teacher friend of my parents, who is happy their putting cruel restrictions on unemployment insurance -- you have to take a job at potentially lower pay and be willing to travel an hour away to get it if you want to collect payments -- because she hates people exploiting the system. I hinted to her that this was the same rhetoric she opposed from Ontario's conservative government in the '90s that called its best-paid teachers lazy. She's only in her 50s but made the decision to retire because she wants her pension which would be cut if she continued by the Ontario Liberal government; an argument would be made by the right that teachers shouldn't retire until 65. She was just one of the guests that night who liked the attack on the poor; the other was a retired nurse, who also benefitted from more progressive governments, but now feels Harper can do no wrong.

By the way, I've never had better school teachers than in my time in Ontario. They're better paid, but are harder working (I'd have never done so well in Calculus, for example, had my high school teacher not always been available at lunch hour to help) and less mean than the ones I had in Quebec.

So, many Canadians are hypocritical, wanting others' programs cut, but exploiting their own -- and, most upsettingly, refusing to accept their hypocrisy in cheating the system ever bit as much as the poor they hate. Canada's health care system is not long for this world. When Harper's Conservatives called themselves the Reform Party, they always favored privatization. They also wanted to deregulate the banks, as in the US. Thank God they weren't in charge in the '90s, or we'd have American-style health care and economic crises.

In another generation, perhaps Canadians will yearn for America's universal health care system, while we toil away in private insurance.