Steven Weber: In a Sense, Abroad Part Quatre: You Bet They Canada!

I am currently in the northern territories on a work assignment, as seeking gainful employment in the wonderful world of television will occasion one to do.

Our famously pleasant upstairs neighbour (note my use of “u” in “neighbor” out of deference to my host country, a selfless act of diplomacy all American representatives abroad should engage in) has made my stay famously pleasant and I have been privileged to observe close-up what some people in the American media have told me was bad and ugly and evil and vile and stinky and Commie and shitty and bad. And also bad. And did I mention bad?

And it makes me wanna heave a curling stone, drain a can of Molson’s and yodel O, Canada! O, your hockey. O, your syrup. O, your Leonard Cohen. O, your exported comedy.

And O by the way did you know that according to the largest survey on primary health care ever conducted in Canada that most people have high praise for their family doctor and a staggering 92% would recommend their physician to a relative or friend; that they have excellent access to primary care and experience relatively short wait times for treatment and that the concept of prevention is strongly built into the public’s understanding of viable and efficient national health care?

And they’re not teeth-gnashing, flag-waving Red menaces. Well, maybe during the Stanley Cup playoffs they are.

For you see, Canadians enjoy a quality of health care (and, subsequently, quality of life) that has been demonized by the bitter mouthpieces for the corporate health cabal in these United States, who themselves have much to lose if American citizens choose a national health care plan:

Firstly, they would lose all the profits wrung from an aging and increasingly unfit population (66% of Americans over age 20 are overweight or obese) which is dependent on exorbitantly priced medications.

Secondly, they would lose their power to influence political policies involving unregulated production or research into more affordable medicines, policies which ultimately favor them and their fellow capitalisto fuck-buddies over the ailing and elderly.

And thirdly, what I just said but double.

How many cases of Hobson’s Choice must Americans hear before they realize that they are being colossally ripped off; that the pay-or-die option so generously offered by the medical and drug industry actually, really does not represent the best care in the world? All the fear-mongering, political obstruction and verbal gymnastics opponents of a national health care plan for the United States have been spewing are nothing more than frantic attempts to keep money in the bottomless pockets of Big Pharma. And the stranglehold the pharmaceutical industry has on the country is the same one the banks have, tenaciously hanging onto their primacy as the physical well-being of the country it professes to care about ebbs away.

In fact, the greatest threat to the health of individuals in the US is the lack of a nationalized, affordable health care program. Why the spin to cast it as socialist or downright deadly? Because to some, it ain’t medicine which makes you live a better life.

It’s money.

And that’s the only reason everyone from the Blue Dog to the fair and balanced Fox (craven animals which have a tendency to lick their own testicles and consume feces — just saying) hates the idea of people paying less and ultimately becoming healthier and detached from Big Pharma’s slow drip.

And listen, Canadians also seem to have skirted (for now, anyway) the housing and real estate crisis which has gripped its big shot, big-assed cousin by their wallets. Canadians are still making tidy profits on sales and construction, the same ones Americans enjoyed for so many years of blissful indulgence. Only, the Canadians have hold of their senses. And it shows in their stable economy and satisfied health care recipients.

And once again, ONCE AGAIN (Zeus, it is so boring to have to say it over and over) the obvious need for universal health care, the kind that works so well in most other technologically advanced countries, is prevented from being implemented by the same folks whose job, apparently, is to obfuscate the necessities rightfully due all American citizens; who brought us the tragically corrupt morass in Iraq; who instigated the unregulated banking fiasco; who toil in the dark cause of relentless profiteering while cynically cloaked as Conservatism, as Republicanism, as reliable news and information, as food and drug regulation — you name it, they corrupt it. The people who want to bring health care down want to bring you down.

From up north it’s easy to see the cure for what ails.

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