Saturday, September 05, 2009

A health care post

Hello neglected blog. Most of my links just get thrown up on facebook nowadays. But here's one for you.

So many crazy things being said by the American right about the health care system in Canada. I wish I could sit down with all the Americans and explain to them what it's really like. Or at least get them to watch this video:

The guys who shot the interviews (they did them along the way while they were on vacation in Canada) said they didn't run across a single Canadian who disapproved of Canada's universal coverage. It should be said that they probably would have, had they increased their sample size enough. There are some dissenters: fully 8% of Canadians think the American system is better; the number jumps to 12% among Conservative voters. (To put that 8% in perspective, you could probably find about as many people saying that the moon landing was a hoax.)

By way of contrast, here are some interviews with American small business owners, describing how they've had to struggle with insurance companies (from a series of (so far) 4 videos, all worth watching):

The self-employed are hit very hard by America's health care mess: they don't benefit from the programs offered for the poor, or from the ability of bigger businesses to get insurers to cover their employees as a group. As Paul Krugman suggests, this may be one of the big reasons why the US is (contrary to popular American myth) nearly last among major OECD economies in terms of self-employment rates, according to this study (pdf). (Yes, Canada ranks higher.)

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