The Slow (and Planned?) Demise of Medicare

I consider the various world governments that have suddenly proclaimed the environment as in dire shape as having really just tried to gain popularity with their voters. They’re not doing this in many cases because it’s right but because it will garner votes. Likewise, I see the present Canadian government as having put out the smokescreen of environmentalism to draw our attention away from the dire straight of our health care system.

Over the years, Alberta went through a stage where the Klein government cut back on many services. My mother, a senior, needed a blood test and there were only two labs in the city of Calgary because the rest had been closed down. She waited eight hours. Other similar cases lead to a crisis, wherein Klein then started letting in privatized clinics because of the waiting lists. Of course he set up the situation in the first place. Gordon Campbell in BC, like Klein, was a Liberal as opposed to a Conservative in sheep’s clothing, did the same thing. They both proved themselves to be the wolves at the doors of the health care system.

Healthcare in Canada is free to everyone. Except in BC and Alberta, richer provinces than any of the Maritime provinces, where people must pay a premium. How is this fair? How is this right?

On top of that, the healthcare system has never considered basic dental care as integral to someone’s health. As anyone who has ever had a toothache, broken tooth, crooked teeth or gum disease can tell you, dental care not only matters for hygiene, it matters for overall physical and mental health. In BC, chiropractic, massage and physiotherapy have been cut out of the system, leaving many people with trying to rely on drugs should they not afford the therapies that help with soft tissue problems. As someone who suffers from this condition it is massage that is most effective and yet denied. Should I even mention that the Liberal government also cut out podiatrists and optometrists, somehow not see foot or eye care (the areas that can have many problems for aging people) from the healthcare system. We’re living in an age of whittling away our healthcare benefits.

Granted it takes a large budget for all the country’s benefits but how is penalizing some people fair? I now know people who exist everyday in pain because they can’t afford the therapy needed to fix their problem. Private clinics won’t change that. It may put the good doctors into the clinics and the specialists, leaving a majority of the public with fewer good resources.

I have many friends in the US. Sometimes they must drive an hour or more to go to their doctor because that doctor is the only one on their company paid healthcare coverage. Others, even working, can only afford to cover their children, not themselves. A friend who is diabetic was paying over $800 a month for healthcare. Another friend who had uterine cancer surgery last year now owes over $20,000 to the hospital. That’s where privatized medicine will get you. Albeit, our system isn’t perfect and you must sometimes wait months for a specialist appointment, it is still better than paying thousands.

This is by far, not the end of this topic. I’ll have more to say and rant about another day.


Filed under consumer affairs, health care, life, politics, Writing

4 responses to “The Slow (and Planned?) Demise of Medicare

  1. Hey,

    I am a Doc in the U.S. and read your post with interest.

    The U.S system is broken, no doubt. The whole thing is in the control of insurance companies and government folks, and a Doc can’t anything done for people with any efficiency.

    Come read my weblog. It is a fiction blog, but it tells the truth.

    Dr. Tom Bibey

  2. colleenanderson

    Thanks for your comment. They (health care systems) both seem broken, just in different ways. The government does seem to be a large part of the problem as opposed to the solution.

  3. utopianscribbler

    Hi Colleen,
    You are absolutely right when you finished with “that’s where privatized medicine will get you.” The US idea of healthcare is that it is for the rich. Our system makes no sense whatsoever! It is a joke.

    I do not have healthcare for myself. The last time I went to the doctor for an illness was over 10 years ago. I refuse to pay hundreds of dollars a month on insurance premiums that allow me healthcare, only to wind up having to pay for my 1 doctor visit a year on top of all the premiums because I have a $2000 deductible before the healthcare will be covered. It makes no sense.
    So I take my extra $100-$200 a month and put it in a savings account in case I really need to go to the doctor.

    Thank you for posting your thoughts!

  4. colleenanderson

    That’s a great idea. I’m sitting here right now with my ribs dislocated, one of the annoying problems I have with my back. The last time this happened, only a few weeks back, I saw the chiropractor twice in one week. That’s $80 and the problem wasn’t completely corrected so here I sit, chewing painkillers. Our healthcare is covering less and less and would work a lot better if they put some of the money into preventative education.

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