Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanks, Tommy

Well, I just spent an exciting evening in the emergency room with my elderly aunt, who had fallen and they wondered whether she broke a bone -- turns out she didn't, but they are keeping her in hospital for a few days anyway until she can walk better -- and it was worth every penny.
No, I'm not being snarky. There's a popular misconception, of course, that Canadian health care is "free", that we aren't paying anything for it. But of course we ARE paying for it, thousands of dollars a year from our income taxes.
And yes, it actually is worth it. My aunt and the doctors and her family were able to make decisions about her care based on what was best for her, not based on what we could afford or what insurance she had.
The continuing problem hospitals have is bed shortages -- politicians absolutely hate spending money on medicare, a bottomless pit which offers them too few ribbons to cut for the billions spent. So we the public have to keep screaming at them. But other than that, its actually pretty great.
Thank you, Tommy Douglas, for Medicare.

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