Shudder To Think

Democracy Now spent, both, Thursday‘s and Friday‘s broadcasts, in their entirety this past week, discussing the current state of American health care and its prospective reform. Quite an interesting couple of hours, if not for anything else, than to give us Canadian’s a seemingly potential “heads-up” on what it is we need to brace for.

And contrary to what I’ve seen argued, what proponents of American privatized medicine are failing to disclose to those who are suggesting they try a “single payer” system in the U.S., is virtually everything they say is only part of the story. A flagrant half-truth.

And like so much of what people are exposed to, it is, without a doubt, the ugly half…

Yes, I’ve had to travel to the U.S. for medical treatment. My neurologist needed to know what was going on in my head faster than the time it would have taken me to wait for my turn to have an M.R.I. done here in Ontario. Thankfully everything was “normal” — as hard as that may be to believe.

Now I’m not saying the fact that I had to wait, had to pay for (thankfully I was in a position to), or that I had to go elsewhere for something my government couldn’t provide is NOT something that is worthy of attention — our government should be ashamed people are forced to do it — rather I do think the whole story deserves to be told.

I, as a Canadian, have, sadly, been witness to what a government can do to a nationally run health care system. I’m not speaking to what a “government run” system is. Rather what irresponsible “elected officials” can do to/with such a system. Fact is decades of cut backs and neglect have left our system an empty shell of what it was meant to and should provide people. And contrary to what an American health insurance company will lead you to believe, health care is, most definitely, a right. Not something you need to pay for to be privileged enough to have.

Who the fuck do these people think they are? And the U.S. government is allowing them to do it? It’s fucking insanity!

I’m simply writing this today as a “warning” to my fellow citizens to be very careful about where things seem to be headed. Unequaled treatment depending on what you can afford? I doubt, very much — even with automobile insurance — I could have been able to pay for my 2 year, 4 hospital, stint if our system was privatized. I can’t help but wonder where I’d be if things were different. Would I even be alive? If not, would my family be responsible for paying my medical bills? How exactly is that not the perfect “nightmare?”

My point is I do know what it means to be a patient, in a hospital, in desperate need of, not just adequate, but life saving and rather specialized care. And what having that treatment has meant to my life now. Meaning I still have one. But being unable to afford what every single individual on the face of this planet deserves, would be, and is the true travesty.

I shudder to think about what is more than likely to come, at some point in the future, here in Canada…