A Health Care Lesson From a Rich Canadian

This is how beloved Canadian health care is.Image Source/ZUMAPRESS

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I got this email from a friend a few days ago and thought I’d share it:

I go to conferences which often have Canadian participants. Once I was speaking with a Canadian, who turned out to be extremely fiscally conservative. Thus, I steered clear of politics but we stumbled on healthcare because he mentioned that his spouse had suffered from two major cancer incidents. I mentioned that this must have been a financial disaster for him. He responded — very nonchalantly — basically along the lines of oh no that was mostly handled by our health care service. His out-of-pocket was fairly low under his supplemental insurance. Both times. Wife is doing well in remission. I asked — because I had heard it — whether treatment was delayed because of the limited number of doctors, etc. I got a weird bemused look in return and he just said no, there was no issue with it. That was really it. He didn’t praise or condemn the system. It was just a positive fact of his existence in Canada.

Then he complained at length about taxes, too much government intervention in all aspects of life, stifled innovation, etc. This guy was wealthy, successful in business, travelled, had houses, etc. And apparently still had a living spouse to share them with without risk or fear of bankruptcy. He reminded me of the many firebreathing Medicare recipients in the U.S. who despise the government, complain about bankrupting the nation, high taxes, welfare louts, but are highly defensive of Medicare — with no self-awareness.

It makes me kind of want to say to conservatives here that, it’s OK, you can totally be for national healthcare and still be a dick about it and everything else. It won’t turn you into a liberal. I’ve seen it!

Consider it said. Hey conservatives! You can totally be for national health care but continue to be a dick about it and everything else!

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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