Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sarah Palin attacks Canada's health-care system, exposes bottomless well of ignorance and stupidity

I'm sorry, I just can't put this delicately. I'm a Canadian, after all, and our universal health-care system is a key component of our national identity, of our just society, and of what makes this country great.

Sarah Palin, spewing bullshit (as usual) as she promotes her book, should just shut the fuck up. Because she hasn't got a fucking clue. All she's got is her right-wing propaganda, the nonsense she passes off as common sense, and an astonishing capacity to expose her ignorance at every turn.

Confronted by Mary Walsh (playing "Marg Delahunty"), a Canadian comedian from the popular show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, who asked if she had "any words of encouragement for the Canadian conservatives who have worked so hard to try to diminish that kind of socialized medicine we have up there," Palin issued this nugget of anti-wisdom:

Well, my answer was too keep the faith. My answer was to keep the faith. Cause that common sense conservatism can be plugged-in there in Canada too. In fact Canada needs to reform its health care system and let the private sector take over some of what the government has absorbed. So thank you, keep the faith.

As I have noted here before, our single-payer public system is supplemented by extensive private coverage and care. What the public system -- the government -- provides is basic coverage for all Canadians. This is actually done on a province-by-province basis. Many Canadians then either get additional coverage through their employer (as I do) or buy supplemental private insurance, which is generally affordable. This additional coverage reduces out-of-pocket costs and secures access to more substantial care. For example, what I get through work covers almost the full cost of prescription drugs and provides me (and my dependents) access to extensive eye and dental care, among other things. And there is choice. I chose my family doctor, and the government does not restrict my access to the excellent care we have, contrary to what dishonest American conservatives would have everyone believe.

Here's Think Progress with more:

In Canada, "the private sector" is already "a crucial part" of the Canadian health care system. The federal government finances the basic health care plan, (through a "Medicaid-like arrangement in which Canada's 10 provinces and 2 territories jointly fund" the system), but care is independently organized and managed by each province or territory. Canadians spend billions on private supplemental coverage and physicians work in private practices. Everyone has access to care, and patients "can see any doctor they want anywhere in the country with no copays or deductibles."

While the system has longer waiting periods for certain elective surgeries, research suggests that Canadians do enjoy better access to care and "superior" health outcomes compared to Americans. According to a Commonwealth Fund of deaths that could have been prevented "with access to quality medical care in the leading 19 industrialized countries," the United States ranked last and Canada came in sixth.

In other words, our system is extremely good and Palin, like her right-wing ilk, is extremely wrong.

Here's the Palin-Walsh clip:

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  • The Canadian health care system contributed significantly to Natasha Richardson's death. Also, just how long ARE those longer waits, and is a knee or hip replacement for someone in daily AGONY "elective?" We know the truth Stickings. Why must you comment on the U.S. so much? After all, you live in such a wonderful, "just" land.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:37 AM  

  • And how do we know "we" know the truth? and who the hell is this "we?"

    How do we know you know a damned thing and aren't just spreading propaganda you heard from someone who heard it from someone because you have an agenda of your own? Why should anyone take your word or the word of whoever it is you claim to represent?

    Lived in Canada, have you? or in Europe or Japan? any professional credentials that give you special knowledge? You're entitled to an opinion, but sorry, the "WE' as in We the People don't seem to agree with you and if you don't like Democracy, that's your problem, not ours.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 11:29 AM  

  • As a Canadian, I'd like to address both of the commenters above:

    You're both idiots. This article is pretty much bang on. That is all.

    Oh wait, one more thing. Enjoy your inferior health care. It's totally your right to have something much worse and pretend it's better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:01 PM  

  • Another Canuck here! Great article. Right on! Lived 10 years in the good old USA and trust me, I would choose the Canadian System anytime over the U.S. one. In fact I have to laugh when Republicans shoot themselves in the foot by wanting to keep the status quo. What kind of people are more interested in looking out for corporate interests and corporate profits than for their own health and the health of their families? It's like they are taking one for the team or something. Dumb asses.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:47 PM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:43 AM  

  • Canadian health care contributed to Natasha Richardson's death?

    Is the National Ski Patrol considered part of Canadian health care? What about Natasha's choice to not seek care, stating she was alright?

    By Blogger The Lone Roller, at 9:13 AM  

  • It's the easiest thing in the world to call someone an idiot and about the most meaningless comment when it simply means one doesn't agree with your unsubstantiated opinions and tendentious anecdotes, trimmed or stretched for the purpose. Feel free to think me stupid and I'll feel free to think you dishonest and possessed of hidden motives.

    US health care leaves far too many people without it, costs far too much and is vastly more wasteful and in a country far, far more wealthy and populous. There's really no way around it that doesn't include lying.

    There is a bottom line and it's that people die by the millions in the US because the profits of huge corporations are more important than a child's life and all your rattling and babbling about Canada's problems notwithstanding, the US needs an equitable health care system instead of the corporate feudalism and arbitrary demagoguery you seem to like.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 9:33 AM  

  • Lone Roller - google Natasha Richardson death Canadian health care and see all the hits you get. Yes, she contributed too, but none of your fancy ass Canadian hospitals had the right equipment to diagnose the seriousness of her injury once she did seek treatment.

    At any rate, both the US and Canadian systems SUCK, albeit for different reasons. Many MD's suck as well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:39 AM  

  • Hmmm, so why did the Canadian Supreme Court rule that single-payer is an unconstitutional threat to human life? - citing all the people who die on waiting lists.

    The partisanship here in the US is pretty ugly and vicious. Having lived in Canada 1969-1976, I'd find it hard to believe that Canadians could be as nasty.

    For my money, both countries have terrible healthcare systems but for opposite reasons.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 8:36 PM  

  • I am a health care professional who has worked on both sides of the border and I have experienced the good and the ugly from both sides and my experience has taught me this: Neither side is perfect and Health care costs money, one way ore another it is going to cost. Now, you have a choice, you can pay through your taxes or you can pay through an insurance premium, but either way, you are going to pay. To put it another way: Who would you rather put your life in the hands of? The government who is looking to get re-elected or an insurance company looking to make a profit. Neither are great choices but americans have to come to grips with the fact that either way they will make up your minds how.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:45 PM  

  • I never heard of a Canadian having to chose between which of one of two fingers he wants to have because he can't afford to have them both re-attached.

    In Canada we take care of each other, maybe the united states should to.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:45 PM  

  • Well it's come to roost now hasn't it that Palin let it slip that when growing up in Rural Alaska her family used the Canadian Healthcare system and specifically she recalls her brother being sent to Whitehorse to get medical attention to his burned foot...

    Do as I say, not as I do...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:25 PM  

  • About Natasha Richardson's death...

    There is NO amount of money that would have prevented that. That came down to one thing: doctor skill combined with pure luck. She had a very difficult to identify ailment.

    In Washington DC, the New York Times correspondent was mugged in Northwest DC while I lived there. He was sent to a US hospital with almost the same injury - a head injury. He was parked in a corner, assumed drunk, and subsequently bled out into his brain.

    The difference between this and Richardson is that was an actual horror story. In an American Hospital no less! Whodathunk?

    By Anonymous CaRteR, at 5:40 AM  

  • America's wait times are reduced because they've cut 1/7th of the population out of the line.

    Everyone in Canada is in line. The wait time in Canada is based on the scary commie principle that really sick children get life-saving treatment before we fix donald trump's broken fingernail. That having been said, we WILL eventually fix donald trump's fingernail... and we'll do it without asking for the benjamins.

    You want to know what the wait-time is like? My leg surgery was performed the evening of my injury; I received my life-saving treatment for an abdominal problem on Christmas Eve, moments after arriving in emergency. I got day surgery performed within a week for a minor, non-life-threatening problem. My 63-year-old mother is scheduled for a total knee replacement in October. She's not in any untreatable level of discomfort and still has mobility... so she gets to wait. People ahead of her are those in unbearable pain and/or without mobility and/or people with her level of complications but who have been waiting longer.

    Everyone I know of has received or will receive the necessary treatment within a suitable time window, given the nature of their problem. Moreover, if their condition deteriorates, they'll get bumped ahead in line.

    That's the way it works. And no amount of conservative propaganda can change that fact. Don't make the mistake of drinking your own cool-aide.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:44 PM  

  • Amen to the commenter above! My experience has been very similar. Anytime I have had an emergency I have had immediate treatment and never had to worry about whether or not I could afford it. When I need to see specialists it's also free that vast majority of the time, as are X-rays and blood tests. In my life experience, there is nothing that I needed/wanted that the Canadian healthcare system did not provide. Can all of the Americans commenting here say the same?

    The number one reason I have not moved to the States for the warm weather and various other things, is because I know I would not be able to afford decent health care down there as a self employed person.

    By Blogger Jon-Mark, at 4:41 AM  

  • Thank-you my Canadian neighbors!! I have been wanting what you and other more civilized countries provide for your people for a long time. My family is fully insured, and we provide it for are workers. 25% increase in the last year, and other bus. 50% + increases. Americans stick with their "people" and block out educated discussions. America is great, we became great by evolving. America is falling behind because of stupidity, and self righteosness Change is good. Jesus would want health care for all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:45 PM  

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