American Conservatives Don't Seem To Get It

USAI don't know about my fellow Canadians, but I've found a great deal of the rhetoric coming from the United States regarding President Obama's health care reform to be incredibly cringe-worthy. The conservatives and anti-Obama crusaders don't seem to understand our health care model in the least.

Here's one of the many ads currently running on American television urging Americans to "say no to government run health care".

That ad makes me nauseous. It's so full of bullshit, I don't know where to start. As a Canadian, I've been served by our "socialist" health care system all of my life. I assure my American readers, we choose our own doctors. Our doctors recommend appropriate treatments and care based on their expert medical opinion.

When my right leg wouldn't let me run more than 4km, I was immediately able to see a top sports doctor, I had an MRI, a bone scan and x-rays, and that same sports doc was able to review video from an MRI I had in 2003 after tearing my ACL as well as x-rays from the early 80s when I broke my leg. My life wasn't in danger, I just had leg pain, but I still received top notch care with very little wait. Did I mention all of the above was covered by OHIP, our provincial health plan that every Ontarian receives, regardless of age, employment status or income?

I recently wrote about my trip to the hospital with a scratched eye. I was in and out in 35 minutes. When anyone in my family has needed more serious treatment, it's been dealt with appropriately and immediately. There is no government layer between us and our doctor.

The amount of misinformation I see spewing from the conservative right goes far beyond ads. Bill O'Reilly from The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News recently fielded a rather timely question from a Canadian. "Has anyone noted that life expectancy in Canada under our health system is higher than the USA?" O'Reilly's response is ridiculous. See for yourself below.

My fear is that viewers will accept O'Reilly's fuzzy math, just as they'll accept Sarah Palin's "Death Panel" comments and the fear mongering that's existed in America since Ronald Reagan spoke out against socialized medicine back in 1961.

I stumbled upon the following image while clicking links earlier this morning, and it seems to illustrate the key difference between the American left and right these days. My only objection, as I observe from north of the border, is that the term "conservatards" isn't fair to the mentally challenged. But, the point is valid.

conservatards

Canada's system may not be perfect, but when compared to the United States we live longer, our infant mortality rate is lower, our per capita expenditure on health care is lower and our % of government revenue spent on health care is lower. Those, my American friends, are facts.


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Comments (26 - click here to join in!)

Aimz

I'm an American who has lived in Canada for the last seven years, and I totally agree with you. I even had to have major surgery here, and the only bills I received were for cable television and for long distance phone calls.

I can appreciate that people don't want government to run their lives, but what I can't get over is the amount of disinformation and downright lies many on the right are spewing. O'Reilly and Beck are the worst of them.

That first ad is especially disingenuous as many, many Americans can't actually "choose" their doctors at all. Their for-profit insurance company tells them who they can and can't see, which hospital they can and can't go to, and which treatments they can and can't have.

The hate and lies just boggles my mind.

August 15, 2009 @ 6:02 PM

Irvine

Canadians laughing about our health care system is laughable

A bunch of fat pigs living off food from a box or take out has NO right to complain about waiting for a doctor. Most people can't even cook anymore.

And if you ask someone "Why don't you cook" they say "I don't have the time". But they have the time to sit on Facebook for half the evening.

I'd love to see ANY politician stand up and say "what about our own personality responsibility"? Not like that will ever happen.

August 15, 2009 @ 7:12 PM

Jon

Special interests, politics and irresponsible rhetoric will keep the US from making the necessary changes to give proper health insurance the people deserve.

As another American currently living in Canada, I just shake my head at the narrow minded thinking - spurred on by the neocons and the right wing religious nutbars who are the US tail wagging the do

August 15, 2009 @ 7:43 PM

Fuzzy Math???

Mike, you're giving this clown way too much credit. This isn't just a little bit of confusion. He's either intentionallly obfuscating, or he hasn't a clue what he's talking about.

August 15, 2009 @ 7:45 PM

elvis

I love it when people say they are against government run health care in the US but will totally use and support Medicare.

August 15, 2009 @ 8:13 PM

Ryan

There will always be a red-scare in the U.S. The Cold war is not over. Government intervention destroys the free world capitalist way of doing things. It's no wonder the U.S. is run by republicans even with democrats in power.

I am pretty sure 1 in 3 Americans believe bringing Obama's Health Care Ideas to life is step 1 of 3 to Communism!!

LOL

August 15, 2009 @ 8:33 PM

Horonymous

This fight is more about the insurance companies profits than peoples well being. I think that Canada has flaws in its health care and is far from the great system we think it is.

Still found the case embarrassing a few years ago of the Calgary mother and baby who had to be transfered to a small US hospital due the the fact than a city the size of Calgary couldn't accommodate the babies needs.

All things considered I'm glad to be in the Great White North.

Good topic Mike

August 15, 2009 @ 10:13 PM

Buffaloboymike

Mike,
I think you and any of your readers who hop over to Buffalo Boy Mike on a semiregular basis know where I stand.
It is truly unbelievable that the US is the only industrialized nation that has not at the very least adopted some sort of public healthcare. Being a Jays fan, an avid listener of Canadian Media including CFNY, the Mighty Q and AM 640 over the years I have soaked up a lot of info on Canadian issues and one thing that I can say is that Healthcare up there is almost never an issue. Sure you guys have garbage strikes, transit strikes and other problems but healthcare is probably the furthest from your worries. Im going to share this on Buffalo Boy.
Thanks Mike for posting, Its nice to see a reaction because at times its embarassing to see the right wing machine down here bash something that they obviously have no clue about.
In a related story, Ed Schultz one of the leading liberal talk hosts did the smart thing, he took a field trip to Toronto to see the Canadian Health system first hand, he is a big fighter for the public plan down here and is one of the ones who gets it....hes on AM 1520 1-3 in the afternoons and MSNBC at 6 on week nights.\
O Reilly is a windbag and those commericials are embarrassing.

August 15, 2009 @ 10:36 PM

Buffaloboymike

To top that off Mike, Rush Limbaugh was quoted as saying that the reason why our healthcare is so expensive isn't due to the number of uninsured its because of those who exercise and their injuries they suffer, those who exercise put strain on our healthcare system...thats the mentality we deal with here.

August 15, 2009 @ 10:56 PM

The_Voice

Recently, a Canadian I know, living in the States, got something checked out, found out it wasn't at an approved hospital in her health insurance, and had to cover the expenses herself... I could visit any walk in clinic, emergency room at any hospital, and would never have to worry about whether or not OHIP would cover it.

Between me and my friend, who gets to decide more about their own healthcare?

August 16, 2009 @ 1:12 AM

Pete McPhedran

Why do any Canadians care about the US health Care System, or lack thereof?

It has no bearing on me, so I couldn't care less what they think of our system.

--Pete

August 16, 2009 @ 3:03 AM

Toronto Mike

Pete, I don't think we cared about the US Health Care until they dragged us into it.

I keep reading crap like this: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111721651

Now I care about their misrepresentation of our truth.

August 16, 2009 @ 9:40 AM

Buffaloboymike

Mike,
That is an interesting perspective, maybe if the conservatives here in the States continue to piss off Canadians like yourself and Canada jumps into our healthcare debate it could actually help the liberal cause in the US for Universal healthcare.
Believe me, I think most liberal/lefties in this country would welcome some help from Canadian with a voice who can step up and tell them the truth about Canadian healthcare.

August 16, 2009 @ 10:20 AM

Mike from Lowville

I want to find out WHERE in Waterdown that bitch lives. You know the one that slagged our health care and appeared in a commercial for the religious right in the States. She should be exiled!

August 16, 2009 @ 11:12 AM

Buffaloboymike

How can anyone take that commercial seriously with Orville Reddenbacher Junior in it.

August 16, 2009 @ 11:22 AM

Argie

After reading the comments on this topic, its easy to see there are an equal amount of retards on the left - who are just as inflammatory and idiotic as O'Reilly and Limbaugh. The only difference is that they're funny and entertaining whereas the goofs here are like those fat turds sitting behind a computer mowing down on Doritos (that Irvine described so well).

Mike from Lowville wants to 'find that bitch in waterdown'. Do actually read what you type before you hit the 'post' tab?

The fact is that the Americans need a new health care system - what they need is not what we have. A French or German system (2 tiered) would be ideal for them.

August 16, 2009 @ 12:26 PM

Irvine

Tell ya, I have the option to use "private" clinics. The cost is 3 grand a year and quite frankly why wouldn't I?

If I want to go to a doctor now, my choices are go to a walk in clinic, wait 3 hours sitting amongst snot nosed kids and then see some doctor who has no knowledge of who I am. If I go back the next day, I get..a different doctor

If I pay 3000 bucks, I get the same clinic and doctor for my repeated visits. I can build a medical relationship with this person so if I feel I have concerns about my health, I can have them quickly looked at

Please..tell me what's so wrong with wanting that? I'd sooner pay 3000 bucks a year and have this option than not. My life..and my health are worth that.

Now, I do feel sorry for those that can't afford it. But again, the reason the Canadian health care system IS so messed up is because we're a bunch of fat pigs who don't care about our health, but we're the first to demand we have immediate health care if we are sick

Surely...SOME element of personal responsibility should exist on behalf of the patient. But it doesn't..and not a single politician (excluding Harris from the Green Party) has EVER brought this up.

Stop living and eating like pigs..and the lines might be a bit shorter.

August 16, 2009 @ 10:28 PM

Andrew (needs a more distinct name)

Weird.

I am not sure I am following Irvine's story.

When I need to see a Doctor (and I do sometimes). I call my Doctor and make an appointment. Usually I get one the next day. I show up, wait 10 minutes or so and then see my Doctor who has been my doctor for 30 years.

My taxes paid for it. I am good with that.

My son needed a CT scan 2 years ago. We waited a week.

August 17, 2009 @ 10:43 AM

The_Voice

Yeah, when I can, I go see my personal doctor, or, if he's on vacation, one of the other doctors in his practice.

When I go to a walk in clinic, it's usually because I don't want to take off any work, and my doctor isn't working on weekends.

August 17, 2009 @ 11:01 AM

Frank the Tank

Clearly good ol Bill doesn't realize that 10 times the population with tens times as many accidents works out to the same average as Canada. Argie what we have is definitely better than what they have perhaps it's not as perfect as Germany or France, but miles ahead of where they are today.

August 17, 2009 @ 6:57 PM

Romy

The same thing is happening here in the UK - people all up in arms over the gross misrepresentation of "facts" by right-wing American shills of big pharma and insurance companies about Britain's National Health Service (NHS). I must say that I echo "Pete McPhedran's" comment above. You get the healthcare you deserve; if the Americans want a shit system where the priority is profit and not universal healthcare, let'em have it. I could care less.

August 18, 2009 @ 4:25 AM

Mike from Lowville

Hey Argie! (right wing retard) Your words not mine. If your going to quote me, try getting it right, Einstein!
'find that bitch in waterdown' is NOT what I typed, yes I read as well as type. Can't be said for your comprehension!

Right on Romy!

August 18, 2009 @ 8:16 AM

Argie

Take it easy Mike from L-ville. You wrote "I want to find out WHERE in Waterdown that bitch lives". Why???

The reason the right wingers in the US are attacking our pathetic system is because the lefties there wanted to use our broken down model for health care. Had they looked to Germany or France as a desired model, the right wingers would have been totally wrong for attacking them. Instead, they are mostly justified in pointing out its obvious deficiencies.

Many Americans believe its wrong to go from one bad system to another. I can't blame them.

August 18, 2009 @ 9:05 AM

Buffaloboymike

Argie, the fact is that Canada's health system regardless of how "broken" you claim it to be, is a hundred times better than what the US has now. Actually its 47 million times better because that is how many in our country that have no health insurance

August 19, 2009 @ 5:55 PM

p. fogg

Mike,

Beware that in your zealousness to point out the ridiculous side of American Republican politics you misrepresent the logical ones. There are likely equal numbers of crazy Democrats who have an similarly tenuous grasp of reality.

There is a debate to be had over this issue, and and does no one any good to heap ridicule on the other side without bothering to consider if there is a solution can be found somewhere in the middle.

(Note also- conservative =/= Republican)

August 22, 2009 @ 1:58 PM

Torrie Taylor

Is Obama's heath reform finished?

January 23, 2010 @ 10:25 AM

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