Okay. I have tried hard to NOT be political on my blog. That is why I sometimes talk about birds, or flowers. I know there are all kinds of SERIOUS opinions on politics, and not being an American I know I am not invested in a party or an ideology like some who read this. So I will try to be tender. I will try to just say what I see.
First of all, health care is not a sign of end times. It horrifies me to hear the kind of rhetoric being used to damn and condemn people and plans. Even leaders who have the ear of people are being unwise - Sarah Palin's blog - "time to reload" ...with gun site points on a map of America pointing out those who should be targeted.
Canada has had a socialist approach to health care for all of my life and we are not tipping into apocalypse. I know many people disparage health care in Canada, telling horror stories about waits and poor treatment. Those are the exception. Granted, our doctors don't have unlimited ability to inflate their incomes. Some go to the States because the income is more lucrative. I am not judging that - just saying I know it is a factor.
The reality is that universal health care (which the US is still FAR from having) gives us this:
- Every pregnant woman has the chance to have doctor's care
- No one is forced to suffer with a treatable disease
- A sick kid can be taken to a doctor without hesitation
- An injury does not need to go untreated
- The poorest sickest least contributing member of our society is treated with dignity and care equal to the most important person
- no Canadian has gone into bankruptcy because someone in their family became ill
- There is no such thing as 'previously diagnosed illness' preventing treatment
You might want to note that while American citizens are spitting at each other over providing some level of care to everyone, the biggest debate in Canada is over relaxing the laws that prohibit private health care that enables a rich person to 'buy' better more privileged health care. The prime minister uses the same health care as the unemployed farmer who lost his farm in the recession.
Here are my questions:
?Why do arguments about health care involve God? I understand health care as a public humanity concern - not a religious one.
?Why is it that people who share (relatively) similar views as mine on faith are some of the meanest, vilest, most fearful participants in this argument?
?Why do the Republicans and Democrats not both work together for the country they say they love? It seems to me that both parties would rather see the country die than lose their position of pride. Just saying.
?Why is it that some of the most vocal opponents of health care are the poor who need it? Who is feeding them such fear - lots of it is religious I hate to say - and making them the spokespersons for those who are protecting wealth and privilege? This is confusing to me.
We are haters. Very big haters. I am just saying what I see.
One more thing. I am the daughter of a steel worker. We lived in a three bedroom house, all eight of us, with one small bathroom. Not unlike other families in our city, we ate porridge at the end of the week, recycled clothes and shared one bike between six kids. But we went to the doctor when we were sick. And we were born in a hospital.
I remember every month a dental clinic that was set up about ten blocks from our home. Street urchins (like me) took a quarter with the face of the queen on it (yes, .25 cents) and stood in line, waiting to see the dentist. One by one we would hand over the sweaty quarter and climb into the chair to have the dentist peer into our little mouths and fix cavities.
Thank God for Tommy Douglas (a Canadian Ted Kennedy type) and one of the greatest Canadian Prime Ministers, Lester Pearson, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who brought in health care. Just saying.