UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 12, 2009

QUESTIONS SHOULD YOU FIND YOURSELF AT A MICROPHONE AT A 'TOWN MEETING'

Buzz Flash

1. If Canada's single-payer system is so god-awful, why have repeated Conservative governments at the provincial and national level in Canada never touched it? Canada is a democracy. If Canadians don't like their health care system, why haven't they gotten rid of it in 35 years? Since the system there is run by the separate provinces, many of which are very politically conservative, why has not one province ever tried to get rid of single-payer?

2. Why is rationing by income, as we do it here, better than rationing by need, as they do it in Canada?

3. Wouldn't single-payer mean that companies could no longer threaten working people with the loss of their health insurance? Why is this a bad idea?

4. The bigger the insurance pool, the better. So doesn't having a national pool, as with single-payer, make the most sense?

5. Why should we be allowing politicians who are taking money from the medical industry to write the new health care legislation?

6. How can the Congress be developing a health system reform scheme and not even invite experts from Canada down to explain their successful system?

7. If Medicare--a single-payer system here in America--is so popular with the elderly, how come it's no good for the rest of us?

8. Isn't it true that Medicare currently finances the most costly patient group--the elderly and infirm--so that extending it to the rest of the population--most of whom are young and healthy--would be much cheaper, per person?

9. The AMA, the Pharmaceutical Industry, and the Insurance Industry all bitterly opposed Medicare in 1964-5 when it was being debated in Congress and passed into law, with the right, led by Ronald Reagan, calling it creeping socialism. It became a life-saver for the elderly and didn't turn the US into a soviet republic. Why should we give a tinker's damn what those same three industry groups and the Republican right think of expanding single-payer now?

10. The executives of Canadian subsidiaries of US companies all support Canada's single-payer system, and even lobby collectively to have it expanded and better funded. Why does Congress listen to the executives of the parent companies here at home, and not invite those Canadian execs down to explain why they like single-payer?

2 Comments:

Anonymous pay justice said...

This is excellent. Thank-you, Sam.

Another point: Everybody should ask your local vocal anti-government rightwinger to name you just one minimalist-government paradise anywhere.

August 13, 2009 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Axel in Montreal said...

So we up here are a democracy, eh? The problem is that you can't beat circular reasoning. The fact that we have universal medicare proves we are under the boot of a Communist dictatorship.

August 13, 2009 9:14 AM  

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