After an interesting conversation or two with a acquaintance from Washington state I'm starting to really realise how entrenched the whole health care debate has become "down there". Yeah, I know I'm kinda slow here but it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff with all the blowing and sucking that's going on in the media.
So, here's my sop to the right wing: actually the much vaunted/derided "socialist" health care system in Canada isn't free at all. Yes folks, we do pay for our care here. I mean I have to pay an insurance premium for my Medical Services Plan. Last I looked it was $36 a month but it's the principal dammit. Maybe that will put a smile on a republican face or two.
And wait times? It's all relative. When I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer seven years ago I got to see a specialist immediately. Surgery was the choice and it was done within a week. Fortunately for me it was found early and I'm still around to annoy people.
On the other hand, I now have a condition called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome as the result of a car accident two years ago and the diagnosis and treatment are proceeding at a far more leisurely pace. The condition is annoying and occasional debilitating but it's not disabling and I'm OK with the speed things are going at. I also know that if it gets a lot worse a lot quicker we will pick up the pace and change the priorities.
It's nice to know that if my WA colleague has an ingrowing toenail he gets to see a podiatrist the next day. However the notion that he'll spend the next few years paying for it creates a pain in a far more fundamental location.
So that's my two cents, looking at the hash Congress is making - particularly those therein who fancy themselves kingmakers, I don't see it getting any better for my neighbours with any great speed but I sure do hope an outbreak of common sense happens soon.