Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards on Universal Medical Coverage

You knew it had to happen………you knew I would have to write about the difference between Canadian and American health care systems. Today is a good day to write about it, because I was impressed today with the comments of Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Senator John Edwards.

Elizabeth Edwards is an advocate of universal health care. She is passionate about the cause. In television appearances today, she noted her preference for the truly universal health care plan devised by Hillary Clinton, stating "It means every American has to be covered. Senator Obama means every child has to be covered. I think we need to go the full nine yards."

She emphatically criticized the health care plan put forth by John McCain: "He's the beneficiary of some great government programs. But in terms of private insurance, he would not be guaranteed coverage under his own plan. Neither would I or anybody with a pre-existing condition." Because John McCain has had skin cancer, he would not be able to get guaranteed coverage.

Would McCain think differently if he didn’t have these excellent plans, or if he wasn’t married into a wealthy family that can afford private insurance?

It is strange – most Kansans don’t really fully understand that Canadians have universal medical coverage – they don’t understand it or believe it – they are frankly incredulous. The have “heard” that there might be waits – but that is all they know. I spend my time trying to explain that to most middle class Canadians, universal medical insurance is part of their life and national identity (like hockey – another thing they don’t understand). No Canadian would give it up, ever. The system might need some tinkering, but it works well almost all of the time for everyone. The doctors I have encountered here hate our system – but they have a vested interest in keeping a system that works brilliantly for them alone.

Miguel is getting good medical care here – he has coverage and supplemental insurance. But many families aren’t as lucky.

Universal medical coverage – get with it my American friends………..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After talking to a number of Americans on our travels to the United States,(we are bi-costal-often visiting California and New England), we found that many Americans are one illness away from financial ruin. They understand that there is a problem but do not seem to get a government that will consider their needs. Doctors and insurance companies seem to be able to thwart any legislation that would help the average citizen.
Media coverage in many parts of the United is limited. Often,they don't often have a variety of newspapers and viewpoints to choose from. This is in contrast to Toronto which has 4 dailies with viewpoints from the range of the political spectrum and many community papers.
Hopefully, one day Americans will also get Universal Medical Coverage something they all deserve.