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|THUNDER ON THE RIGHT - February 2011|
|Written by Paul Jackson|
THUNDER ON THE RIGHT
By Paul Jackson
It has now been five decades since Liberal Prime Minister Lester Pearson bribed or diplomatically bullied Canadian provinces to accept a universal health care system in which every resident is covered through the regular federal and provincial taxation.
No, it doesn’t include cosmetic surgery unless such surgery is needed due to a birth defect or industrial accident, yet it does cover both abortions and vasectomies, but neither does it cover dental care, eye care or prescription drugs unless an individual is 65 years of age. Actually, it has covered sex change operations when a psychiatrist has convinced a medical panel such a change is psychologially necessary, even for a prison inmate.
Now, did Pearson—the man President Lyndon Johnson once grabbed by the lapels and shouted a nasty profanity in his face—make any errors when he instituted universal health care and his successors, both Liberal and Conservative ‘enhanced’ it?
Well, yes, they did. I bring this up following last month’s column detailing Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean’s all-out support for Canada’s system, and my own individual positive experiences under it.
Nevertheless, here are some faults:
Initially, too, everyone had to pay monthly premiums directly to their provincial governments but those were eventually judged an unfair tax - a burden for anyone making low or average wages , but nothing to those making more than $100,000 a year, so those were phased out. Hence, people now think medicare is ‘free’ when it isn’t. The heavy tax system kills that idea. Also, initially, there were ‘deterrent user fee’ payments of $5 or $10 to discourage frivolous visits to doctors or hospital emergency rooms. Those were later abolished on the same unfair tax system basis, and in the first 18 months after being abolished visits to doctors and hospital emergency rooms jumped some 200%. Ailments previously considered menial were now seen as almost deadly serious.
Add to this, in an attempt to control skyrocketing health care costs the Liberal government of Prime Minister Jean Chretien restricted entrance to medical schools, so now Canada is short of roughly 17,000 doctors - on a population basis, that’s basically the equivalent of California being short of 17,000 doctors.
This said, so-called ‘death panels’ in Canada used as propaganda in the U.S. are just nonsense. But if at 80 years-of-age you expect a heart or liver transplant, forget it. Give it to the 28-year-old instead, a philosophy I agree with completely.