Monday, July 27, 2009

Health Care and Shona Holmes

Much fuss has been made lately, about Barack Obama's plan to give Americans universal health care. Conservatives -- being the greedy little shits that they are -- are so adamant about stopping this, that they're resorting to an interesting propaganda move to discredit it. They enlisted Canadian citizen Shona Holmes, who claims to have had a brain tumor that was nearly fatal. She further claims that because of a six month wait for treatment, she had no choice but to mortgage her house, borrow money, and otherwise scrape together $100,000 to get treated in the U.S. According to her and those who want for-profit health care, this is a sign that our health care system is a disaster waiting to happen. Guys... go fuck yourselves.

Now that may seem harsh, but there's a reason I'm saying it. For one thing, the so-called tumour was in fact a Cleft Cyst on her pituitary gland, which is not life-threatening at all. Furthermore, there are countless Canadians who genuinely do have cancer, and yet manage to get quick treatment without much of a problem. I don't deny that wait times and coverage blind spots are a problem in our health care system, but as far as anyone can tell the issues described by Holmes simply don't exist. Try being disabled, a senior citizen, or having a rare but deadly illness in Ontario and THEN you can complain about OHIP's shortcomings.

If I may inject a personal story, I can tell you first hand that our hospitals are actually pretty well on the ball. Over a year ago I fell head-first into a sidewalk -- a very similar injury to the one that would later kill Natasha Richardson, so needless to say there was a lot of reason to be concerned. Within two hours of my fall, I was in an emergency room, examined by the doctors, given a clean bill of health, and discharged. The point is, if a need presents itself, our system will bend over backwards to meet it -- all without charging huge fees, I might add.

At the risk of sounding a bit like Michael Moore, it's no secret that the current system in America is the bigger disaster -- millions of Americans can't get health insurance, and the ones that do, often get their claims rejected because some bean counters think that things like heart surgery and tumour removal aren't critical procedures. Private insurance companies are after one thing alone: making a profit, and they don't care if people die to give them that. Frankly, it's my belief that the people who support private health care, just want to legally kill the lower-middle class.

If you still want proof that this whole story from Shona Holmes is a crock, think about this. Even though she hates Canadian medicare, even though she took it upon herself to raise the money to get treated abroad, she's still suing the Ontario government for her health expenses. Yeah, she really sounds like a noble person, doesn't she. Enough said.

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