An article in the March 18 issue of the Toronto Star, a left-leaning publication, got my blood boiling! It is titled “Buying their way to the front of the health-care line.” That is followed, in large bold lettering, by the question, “Should the wealthy be allowed to buy their way to faster health care at private clinics?”
My question to the authors is: Who the hell are you to deny me better health care if I can pay for it?
Uncritical and shallow thinking readers of the Star article will immediately assume the “their” persons referred to in the intros must be bad people. And they will read on to find out how bad they really are, and perhaps learn what they can do to stop them. And stop them they must!
And why are they bad? Because they are getting an unfair advantage over others, so say the authors. It’s kinda like paying someone to arrive early and place themselves at the front of the line before tickets to a hot event are put on sale. The person who would pay someone to do that must be bad because they want the best seats available. They must be bad because they aren’t willing to sit in the bleachers like the common folk. And they can afford to hire someone to stand there in their stead. More bad. Imagine how bad those people sitting in expensive rink-side seats at Maple Leaf games must appear to those sitting in nose-bleed sections at Air Canada Center. Awful folks!
And it must be true because the Star wants it to be true. As a member of the major media they can’t be wrong. . . can they? Read on and you decide.
The beef being explored by the authors, and granted prime front page placement by the Star, is the so-called “two-tier” health care system mushrooming in Canada. The private fee-for-service clinics somehow insinuate the health care system provided by the government is lacking in some way(s). Horrors! Surely that can’t be true!
The critics selected by the authors, and cited in the article, claim the private clinics “encroach” on government services. It isn’t clearly explained how that happens, or if it happens, but “encroach” incites hostility. It’s a good word. Use it. In football, encroaching is a penalty offense committed by bad intent to gain an unfair advantage.
A statement made by a Toronto family physician testifying in Washington in favor of Obamacare and in defense of Canada’s health-care system is particularly galling. Referring to the existing private health-care system in the US, she states, “. . . it also undermines Medicare because it contributes to an ethos that the public system is not delivering the highest quality.”
There you have it! The real reason for the article. Socialism is best! Everybody is equal! Government is all powerful! No private entity can do it better!
Those that would deny you getting better health care are loathe to admit the system provided by the government is not the very best. If it was the very best, and equally available to all in a timely fashion, the alternative clinics charging for fee-based services would not exist. A market opportunity is created where existing services are not satisfactorily meeting customer requirements. Business people are not stupid. They don’t create a business with substantial start-up expenses where there is no market. If they are wrong and the market doesn’t exist, the new business will go broke.
Devotees of government provided health care don’t want you to know you are receiving inferior service. Ergo, with respect to alternative or additive services, their solution is to legally find a way to deny you better care. If they can’t do it legally they will try to shame you into it. That effort will fail because it defies logic.
The following paragraph is an excerpt from an article in the NY Times on the subject of better health.
“One conclusion from this work, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, is that the gap in life spans between rich and poor widened from 2001 to 2014. The top 1 percent in income among American men live 15 years longer than the poorest 1 percent; for women, the gap is 10 years. These rich Americans have gained three years of longevity just in this century. They live longer almost without regard to where they live.”
The truth is wealthy people live longer because they can afford to get better health care. To castigate them for purchasing better health care is pressuring everyone to accept the lowest common denominator.
Summing up the article: The rich eat better, drive better vehicles, and live in better homes in better neighborhoods, but purchasing better health care is somehow a sin to those who think you shouldn’t have it. I ask readers to consider whether they would prefer better health and longer lives if they can achieve it . . . or would they acquiesce to the one size fits all theory of “I will accept the same level of health care treatment as homeless people receive because it’s my duty as a human being.”
Bob was born in Toronto and began his financial career as a trader on the Toronto Stock Exchange. He relocated to California and became SVP and CFO of a $multi-billion diversified financial entity. He served on the board of many companies in Canada and US. An avid yachtsman, he owns a twin diesel ocean going vessel once featured in Architectural Digest magazine. He maintains a hockey web site. “slapshotreport.com” and currently resides in Sausalito, California.
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