Over the weekend, I spoke with a former diplomat and World Bank type who had lived in Toronto for 20 years. He was lamenting how American ignorance of other cultures and countries made us so susceptible to anecdote-based lies — in this case, about the Canadian national health care system.
I didn't take notes on that conversation, but this post (h/t Hal Davis) from a Canadian centrist built very nicely on the theme (emphasis mine).
It pains me to see my American cousins being denied affordable and effective health care. It pains me even more the reasons it is being denied is a series of grand deceits.
Many conservatives proudly introduce themselves as "fiscal conservatives" as if to imply they have a monopoly on money matters. If they are politically inclined their "expertise" extends to public expenditures. It is mainly conservatives who are telling Americans they cannot afford universal single payer Medicare when the reverse is true America cannot afford to not implement such a program. Many governments learned long ago that the only cost effective way to deliver certain services, specifically Medicare, to the public was through universal programs where the cost was spread over the entire population; in other words a collectivity-or that dreaded word that strikes fear in to the heart of every American-socialism.
This writer has the benefit of our national Medicare plan, a group benefit plan through my employer, and government run universal car insurance. These services become affordable or much more affordable only because a very large number of people make it so by pooling resources. A so-called fiscal conservative who denies the cost benefits and efficiencies of this sort of collectivity denies an immutable truth and one that is ageless.
The idea the private sector provides goods and services more efficiently than government is only one of the big lies of our times- and another of the sins of the revenge conservatives has been to denigrate the role of government to facilitate their greed.