Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Your polite neighbours to the North are p*ssed off

From DAILY KOS ...
Oh yes indeedy.

The Shona Holmes thing? You know, the one whose story changes depending on her audience?

In the commercial she was DYING! In her testimony, not so much.

Most people here are aware of who is funding this Shona dog and pony show, that would be the good ol' Koch industry-John Bircher related Americans for Prosperity. The same astroturf factory that brought you teabagging (Branding FAIL) and Joe teh Plumber.

They are using the name Patients United Now. The only united Patients seem to be those with a huge stake in the Healthcare insurance industry and their other think tank friends. Their language and talking points are directly from Frank Luntz, Cunning Linguist part 2: framing healthcare (My co blogger has an interesting way with words too!)
Some of us have gone beyond being angry at the way Canada is being portrayed. My current thinking is that Americans deserve exactly the kind of health care system they wish for.

Why should Canadians care if Americans are dying or going bankrupt because they can't afford health care? While the rest of the civilized world sees universal health care as a basic human right, the USA is allowed to have a different opinion if they choose. After all, they have different opinions on many other important social issues.


  1. To answer your question: when your ridiculously well-armed, short-tempered neighboring country starts to fall apart, its citizens look to the nearest resources and take them by force. Luckily for you it is cold in Canada so the uninsured hordes of the US are more likely to invade Mexico first.

  2. Geez, someone should tell the weather outside that it's cold in Canada - I'm sweating to death in my apartment.

    More relevant however: Although I don't like the way we're being portrayed, I'm not sure how this is any different than the countless other portrayals of various nations in the American media. Mainstream America has a fierce sense of pride, and I rarely hear anything other than it being referred to as the greatest nation on Earth by its own media and politicans. Also, America has the butt end of the jokes of every other industrialized country in the world (especially for the past 8 years). While I disagree with the characterization of Canada, it's pretty typical fare.

  3. I heard that religiosity is strongly correlated to insecurity and fear so providing a stable, reliable health care safety net could go a long way to reducing religiosity. I bet you can think of several ways that this affects Canadians.

  4. I'm a Canadian living in Quebec City. Over here, if you don't already have a family doctor, you're out of luck: you won't be able to get one. Not enough of them!

    If you hurt yourself badly, but your condition isn't deadly, you can expect to wait several days (!!!!!!!) in the emergency room, as hospitals don't have enough doctors!

    I used to have a family doctor, but "unfortunately," I am rarely ill. So my doctor thought I was not worth it (didn't make enough money with me) and so he let me go.

    So at the end of the day, not being cared for because you don't have money, or not being cared for because there's not enough doctors, it's all the same to me.

    So excuse me if I think that Canada has a crappy health care system.

  5. The humanitarian in me wants to see the US get universal health care. The strange thing is that if they do get it, the quality of care in Canada might drop, and the cost of care would certainly rise.

    It is on account of the US two tier system that their large drug companies are able to acquire the funds to develop and test the medications that eventually end up on our shelves at a fraction of the cost. This funding would evaporate if the US system started looking like Canada's. Hopefully right-wing Americans will recognize the benefits of UHC, but I don't think Canadians should go through hell and high water to make them see the light, especially since in the end we're only shooting ourselves in the foot.

  6. Robert,

    I'm in Vancouver and I don't have a family doctor either (though my wife does). I've just gone to one of the near-by clinics whenever I needed anything medical and I assume the same facilities are available to you as well. What sort of care do you think you're lacking?

    (I don't mean to say that you're wrong. It may be that I just don't understand the role of the family doctor over the numerous clinics.)

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  8. I've lived in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Onterrible... I mean Ontario. My experience with hospital waiting times (in order of decreasing length) has been NB > NS > ON > BC - the general trend I've observed is that the wealthier the city/province, the better things are. It sure is a bummer, but I'm not sure what private health care would necessarily improve. NB would still remain poor and under-staffed, and I assume that a disproportionate number of people couldn't afford care. Now I'm willing to consider evidence that privatized health care would be better (I'm no expert on the situation); however, I just want to point out that no one Canadian province represents all of Canada's health care system anymore than a single American State represents the US'.

  9. Over here, if you don't already have a family doctor, you're out of luck: you won't be able to get one. Not enough of them!

    Not a problem of the funding system. Need more doctors? Increase the number of doctors trained. It does not matter who is paying, if we are not training enough doctors.