Sunday, June 12, 2005

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

It’s all been a pack of lies. All this talk about the evils of so-called two-tiered health care. Lies. All lies.

On Thursday the Supreme Court of Canada issued a landmark ruling that sheds significant light on the magnitude and depth of the lies; a ruling that promises to shake the very foundations of our nation’s state-run health care monopoly. In essence, the court ruled that the Quebec government’s prohibition on private health care insurance violates the rights of Quebecers to receive timely medical treatment and confirmed what we already know - that people are suffering and dying because they are forced to wait in line to access the public system. Furthermore, the court noted that, based on the experiences of other western democracies, it does not appear that private health care leads to the eventual demise of public care.

Imagine! For decades, Canadians have been told that so-called two-tier heath care would destroy our beloved universal heath care system. And now our Supreme Court tells us different. Think of all the sick Canadians who suffered because the government would not allow them to seek treatment outside the public system. Many lived in tremendous pain and even died waiting for treatment. Now we find out the government actually had no right at all to impose this onerous restriction on their rights and freedoms.

Now, let me be clear. I am not out to ruin the public system. I have no desire to deprive any Canadian, poor or otherwise, of health care when they need it. But, let's face it, the middle class is getting shafted here. There are tons of people out there defending the poor. And the rich need no one to defend them. That leaves only the middle class. You know, the people whose taxes mostly pay for the system. Tell me, who is defending their right to quick and effective health care? Who is protecting their right to live and be healthy? No one, that's who. Rather, sick middle class Canadians who need timely medical treatment have been blocked at every step by misguided leftist ideals and neo-socialist government restrictions on health care access.

It’s all just a big scam, really. We've been played for fools. Lets face it, here in Canada, the poor don’t have access to the same fast acting, well functioning health care system as the middleclass. Rather, the middle class have access to the same waiting lists and slow, unsustainable system as the poor. In essence, here in Canada, the middle class have been moved to the same level as the poor with respect to heath care access, not vice versa.

Of course, many rich and connected Canadians simply go south of the border for quick treatment. They have also have access to illegal private Canadian clinics that are hidden from poor and middle-class Canadians. As I understand it, our fabulously wealthy Prime Minister, Paul Martin, gets his treatment from a private clinic in Quebec. No waiting in line for that boy. Is my displeasure displaced by thinking that this is simply unacceptable?

And it's the same for most rich Canadians. Here in health care la la land, a tiny rich, elite segment of society have quick access to essential, life saving, private medical services while the government prevents the rest of us from doing the same. Some may ask how we have come to this. Perhaps Indian-Canadians would see the parallels with a caste system. As for me, I recognize the failings of our universal health system as the only possible outcome of any myopic, socialist-run scheme geared at making people artificially equal. As is always the case, the ruling class and elite benefit equally, and everybody else suffers equally.

The next time you hear some rich, elitist, left wing twit like Kiefer Sutherland, Michael Moore or Sarah Polly gush over Canada's universal heath system, you might want to ask yourself this: how long would they wait for a specialist appointment if they found a disturbing lump somewhere on their anatomy? Do you really think they would wait in line with us? They would be gone stateside in an instant. And yet they think they know what’s best for us. It is sad that we give them any credibility at all. Rich socialists really annoy me with their oxymoronic values.

As I understand it, aside from Canada, only Cuba and North Korea have outlawed private health care. Even such bastions of social enlightenment as Sweden, France and the Netherlands allow their citizens to access some private health services. Is it not sad that Canada has chosen to align itself with oppressive Communist countries when it comes to health care, rather than follow the examples of progressive European nations?

When I was growing up on Cape Breton Island in the sixties, everyone had a family doctor. And you could get in on a day’s notice. The doctors were well off and lived in the largest homes in town, just like today. People paid when they could and somehow even the poor received good care. The government helped out only as necessary. Lineups were pretty well unheard of. Today’s Cape Breton is very different. Under today's state monopolized system, vast numbers of residents have no family doctor and people wait considerable lengths of time for specialist appointments and treatments. It’s the same here in Toronto today. And it’s the same virtually everywhere here in Canada.

It has been noted many times that our health system is unsustainable and that people, in a free and democratic society, should have the right to seek out their own care rather than die on waiting lists or stretchers in hospital corridors. But, so far, the loud defenders of universal health care and their formidable media bodyguards have succeeded in stifling any meaningful debate by effectively demonized anyone who dares question the status quo. Even in the face of the court ruling, I don’t expect them to change their tune anytime soon. But maybe, while they contemplate the ruling, they could stop running around like chicken-little for a moment and answer the following simple question for me:

‘Can you prove to me that a careful and highly regulated implementation of some private healthcare services in Canada would have an overall negative effect with respect to access to the public system? Please provide statistics and examples with a focus on refuting why private health care has not had such an effect in France, Sweden and the Netherlands.’

Oh, never mind, I already know what their response will be. I can almost hear them and read their picket signs as they march in a circle:

“Hey hey, Ho ho, Two tiered health care’s got to go”

It is the level of intellectual discourse one can expect these days from the obsessive purveyors of our state run health care monopoly. Meanwhile, how many more of us have to suffer in pain on waiting lists and die prematurely before we stop listening to them and start doing what’s best for middle class Canadians for a change?


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