America’s Debate On Health Care A Chance For Canada To Assess Ours

Boy, is Obamacare getting hot or what? Have you seen footage of some of these Townhall meetings springing up across the country? The government is asserting this is all a conspiracy driven by the insurance companies who have too much of a vested interest in letting health care reform take place. Personally, I think the White House has lost its mind. When a government speaks openly about conspiracies and actively asks people to spy and snitch on one another well…

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson, 1788.

Obviously, Canada is in the middle of the debate. Yay! Attention! Despite some inaccuracies, I like this video because these guys actually secretly filmed their experiences within the system here. Be forewarned, it’s from Pjamas Media – a conservative media outlet. Ooooo, so scared, mommy!

Both sides are presenting their side of the story, and while each make valid points, I still feel the left paints waaayyyy to nice a picture and under estimates just how difficult it is to run such a massive operation while the right paints waaayyy to scary a picture.

All I know is, A) good luck in trying to control costs and B) the Canadian system IS under severe strain. These facts are well-documented and can be seen in plain view when you visit a hospital.

The video is valuable for one reason: It takes a secret camera inside clinics in Quebec. The picture is stark inside a semi-private clinic imagine public! See, I told you Mike we should have done this years ago when I suggested it.

Like most videos of this sort, it suffers from some factual errors. But still far less egregious and outrageous than anything Michael Moore puts out about the subject relating to Canada.

For example, they interview someone about his experiences with dermatology. Who cares? Like dentistry, dermatologists have private practices therefore they’re irrelevant to the discussion.

An important distinction is not made: As someone (Paul say hello) keenly point out to me, these are semi-private clinics. Not public hospitals. Public hospitals never close. Just as importantly, the Quebec system is not indicative of what goes on in other provinces since health care falls under provincial jurisdiction. For instance, Quebec allows private clinics to operate while Ontario doesn’t.This leads to different results.

These are just a couple I spotted. I feel the video was at its best while they were inside the clinics. Nonetheless, it still makes some valid points.

Generally speaking, despite provincial control, nationally we all experience, long wait times, rising expenditures, drops in overall quality of care, lack of accessibility to GPs and advanced equipment, experiencing doctor and nursing shortages and fiscal mismanagement. Canada’s performance in the OECD isn’t exactly something to write home about either.

None of this can and should be disputed. If we do, then all we do is defer to another time to make meaningful changes in enhancing and improving our frustrating Canadian public system.

What kind of changes? Man, that’s the million dollar question. So far, the best we’ve come up with is to expand private services to help alleviate strain on the public side.

Rather than sit back and take glee that the Americans want to have some type of universal care – has anyone read the bill? – maybe we should take this opportunity and assess our system properly and with conviction.

Which begs these questions: Is government responsible for providing care to all its citizens? Are there other ways to get care to the most vulnerable (children and elderly)? Is it feasible to run a universal system over time?