Disinformation Campaign in the US about Health Insurance: What Is Going on?
Jul 29, 2009
Lately, as the US House and Senante prepare to vote on a new health insurance package, I’ve been getting e-mail from friends in the States, either asking for ammunition to use against those who are bad-mouthing the Canadian health insurance system as an example of what to avoid, or simply asking for information.
Heaven knows the Canadian system is not perfect, and is under attack here at home (see the op-ed piece Lee and his friend Terry Kaufmann wrote for Le Devoir about creeping privatization of surgical clinics. ) But there is no doubt that the Canadian public as a whole is far better served by it than people in the United States are by their system.
What is amazing is the possibility that old boy Democrats will kill the Obama health care reform package. Paul Krugman ranted a bit about that yesterday, while on Sunday David Leonhardt wrote forcefully about the vilification some US doctors have received when they’ve tried to change the way health care is organized and doctors paid in the US.
The bottom line is that at least 45 million Americans have no health insurance or inadequate insurance (and the numbers are going to jump in California as that state hobbles its program in order to meet its new budget plan,) that per capita expenditure on health is higher in the US than anywhere else in the world, and that by most health indicators Americans are less healthy than people in other developed countries (Canada, UK, France for example.)
A message to my friends across the border: this is an idea whose time came long ago. What are you waiting for?
Mary Soderstrom is a Montreal-based writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her new collection of short stories, Desire Lines: Stories of Love and Geography, will be published by Oberon Press in November, … more
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