Why? Because they don’t like the truth either.
Especially when it challenges their assumptions, illusions, delusions or the outdated and/or unsustainable fantasy lands they prefer over reality.
Take health care for example.
No, really, health care.
Among the many things I am envied for now that I am a “Canadian” is the fact that we have a quasi-universal system whereas my nearest, dearest and somewhat acquainted with in the U.S. are at the mercy of a hodge-podge of plans and coverage that rest largely on one’s ability to have a really good job or be old enough to have finally grabbed the golden Medicare ring.
But it’s not for all its universality and it’s not equitable really because each province is free to fund or not a long list of health care perks to which they can attach user fees – though they tend to be ridiculously modest in light of what the average American pays per month for similar coverage.
The system is also insanely expensive. According to recent numbers if Canadian Medicare was a business, it would be among the largest corporations in the world. Based on 2009 revenues, it earned$183.1 billion which would earn it the number three spot on Fortune 500’s list between Exxon Mobil and Chevron. It would also be the talk of Wall Street for its poor business practices, and the fact that despite raking in revenue, it’s expenses still manage to eat up most of its “profits”. If it were a business, no investor in his/her right mind would touch it.
Canadians are used to hearing that their much-loved system is in deep do-do. So used to it that their defense mechanisms are well-honed and anyone who dares to point out the Emperor Healthcare is wearing a hospital gown with a decidedly exposed rear end is likely to be shamed at best or called out as Republican in Maple-leaf clothing.
I wrote a post for Care2 the other day – at the urging of my editor – citing a very well-known (if you bother to read the news) fact about how the current conservative government is quietly hanging their share of Medicare funding out on the line in hopes, it seems, that no one will notice what they are doing until it’s too late.
Judging from the roasting I personally received from the Canadian commenters, it would appear that the Harper government‘s stealth abandonment of its obligations is going well. NO ONE believed me. And this in spite of the fact that I linked to the article – chock full of facts – that showed I was correct.
The post I wrote focused mainly on the funding issues and the fact that Canada’s much-cherished system has some issues. Some of them big. And some of them getting bigger.
What did everyone zero in on?
Well, that I am an American. More than a few of the comments seemed to think I was living in the States and writing fiction about Canada’s health care for the Tea Party.
They also didn’t like that I wasn’t enamoured of my health care and called my personal experiences (and I didn’t even share the horrific ones) out as lies. Bald-faced and in the service of Rush Limbaugh.
Which bring me back to this posts title.
People are idiots. And they are rude and they can’t read very well. But mostly, they don’t want to hear truth unless it is their version of it.
The truth is that Canadian healthcare is okay when compared to the nothing that exists in the States. But there are countries in the world – more than a handful really – that have much, much better, cheaper and more user-friendly systems.
Canadians spend a lot of money for rather average care and for service that would probably get a person fired if they worked at McDonald’s.
I hesitated to share my own experiences because I am met with enough stern looks from people I actually know when I do. It’s always “you should be more grateful”, but why? Just because illness doesn’t have the same capacity to destroy my life as it did down south (though it’s not venom free), I don’t understand being grateful for a system that knows it can be better and refuses because it would be more work than resting on its big fat superior smugness.
And here’s the thing that really eats at me, Canadians are just as complacent as those in the U.S. who have insurance are because they don’t want to be inconvenienced by reform that would make the system better for those forced to deal with it the most (elderly and chronically ill) and those who aren’t lucky enough to have supplemental insurance through an employer. Because they exist like the Ignorance and Want under Christmas Present’s velvety petticoats but they don’t show Canada in the rosy coloured glow that allows folks here to look down their noses at America.
Lefties? Righties? I am beginning to think the world would be better off without either group. Perhaps those of us in the middle could work on getting something real accomplished if they weren’t mucking things up with their hysteria.
- Health care financing drying up (theglobeandmail.com)
- Flaherty hints at greater health transfers (theglobeandmail.com)
- Canadians don’t consider health-care status quo so sacred (theglobeandmail.com)
- Canada’s ‘obsolete’ health system needs private-care injection: Liberal MP (canada.com)