Wednesday, August 19, 2009

America’s Heathcare Fight Isn’t About Healthcare

The Obama love in has ended, thanks to the American president’s plan to bring government-run, universal healthcare to his citizens.

U.S. President Barack Obama was sworn in amidst the pomp and circumstance afforded no other world leader. Being the first black leader of the most politically powerful country in the world earned him a spot in the history books, before even creating a single policy.

He made a trek up here, visiting Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper - his first foreign visit - to rock star-like crowds. He was just as warmly received when he went to other distance lands - with throngs of fans, surrounding his every move.

Then President Obama announced one of his promises made during the election - to bring affordable, accessible healthcare to every American.

Almost instantly the flowery love of adorning Americans vanished, replaced with angry, frustrated citizens, calling for his resignation.

GRAND JUNCTION, CO - AUGUST 15:  Prostesters d...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Many in the States don’t believe their politicos can run universal healthcare, even more are afraid their taxes will go up, for poorly run health services. But the real reason many Americans fear President Obama’s healthcare plan is no less American than warm apple pie served under fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Anti-Communistic sediment, left over from years of being beat over the head with rhetoric about “pinko Commies” is the real reason many Americans are on the war path against government run healthcare. Though most probably don’t know that fully themselves.

As long as there have been socialistic countries, there have been anti-socialistic countries - that’s the nature of political systems. America’s Vietnam War - one of their biggest gaffes - was based on stopping the spread of Communism. The Cuban Missile Crisis, and America’s constant hate for all things Cuban is purely based on anti-Communistic bigotry. The Cold War between the Americans and the then-Soviets (aka “the Ruskies”) was based on anti-Communistic feelings.

One could even say their current War on Terror has at its very roots, a basis in their anti-Communistic stance. The Muslim-based world of Iraq and Afghanistan is a far cry from socialistic thinking. But it is also a far cry from the way the American political system runs - and anything political that doesn’t hum along quite like the American way, is automatically grounds for going to war. Or so it would seem, at least if you read

An EXCOMM meeting during the Cuban Missile Cri...Image via Wikipedia

up on your recent American history.

Canada isn’t a Communistic country - but we do embrace the ideals of a society where even the government will look after our most vulnerable, by providing welfare and universal healthcare for all - both highly socialistic in nature.

That’s why many campaigns against President Obama’s universal healthcare system are picking on us Canadians. They claim our Canadian healthcare system isn’t as good as the American one. They show line-ups lasting over 10-hours in our emergency rooms; patients being turned away for necessary medical services; after hours clinics closed; and nurses and doctors tired and disillusioned about the whole thing. They show everything wrong about Canada’s ailing healthcare system.

This really catches the average Canadian off-guard. Although our healthcare system isn’t perfect, it certainly isn’t sick. I’ve lived, worked and played in Canada all my life, and I have never had to wait 10-hours in emergency. I’ve never been denied health services, and I don’t know anyone who has.

Interviews with doctors and nurses is problematic, because no matter how good or bad the system really is, just as in any profession, you’re bound to find a handful of people that hate their jobs, their boss and will vent given the opportunity.

That is the magic of the digital video era - anyone can write, shoot and edit anything to be exactly the way they want it. Go into a hospital hoping to interview someone who’s been waiting for 10-hours, and you’ll find him or her.
But then, you’ll probably find people who were in and out as well. They never ask why the patient was waiting for 10-hours - maybe he filled out the forms wrong, didn’t come when called, or could have even fallen asleep - we’ll never know - thanks to editing to specific viewpoints.

If anything, it is all but too easy for non-Canadians to get access to our medical safety net - and on this one front the anti-Obama healthcare groups have reason to worry. Even though most provinces have photo ID health cards, it is still far too easy to get healthcare for non-Canadians.

Some go to extremes, as Michael Moore showed in his movie

Michael Moore while trying to get access to Gu...Image via Wikipedia

Sicko. They even marry us Canadians, not for our dashing good looks, northerly climate ruggedness, politeness, or even for our Canadian values, but instead just to become a Canadian to qualify for our government-run, universal healthcare.

Makes you think - some people will actually tie the knot with a complete stranger, just to enjoy the benefits of something, many Americans are all up in arms against. What gives?

Many of these protesters are angry because their American values are being stomped on. When anyone proposes to allow the American government to run anything free for the public, many Americans instinctively believe it is the first step towards socialism, which is just a hop-skip-and-jump from Communism.

And no American wants that - even if it means paying out of their own pocket for necessary medical treatments, or failing that, suffering debilitating injuries that could cost them their jobs, social lives, and even their own lives, just because they couldn’t pay for their own healthcare.

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