"All socialism does is spread misery equally," Rush Limbaugh has oft asserted. Newsweek's T.R. Reid found a Canadian health care enthusiast who would proudly agree.
In a September 21 print edition piece entitled "No Country for Sick Men," -- subtitled "To judge the content of a nation's character, look no further than its health-care system" -- Reid turned to Marcus Davies of the Saskatchewan Medical Society, who insisted he was perfectly happy with the Canadian health care system's long waiting lines.
After all, it's Canada's way of rationing care and he and his fellow countrymen are happy with it, so long as the misery is spread equally across income levels:
I agreed that Canada does an admirable job of providing free and prompt care to anybody with an acute medical condition. But for nonemergency cases, the system often provides nothing but a long wait. Last summer I tried to get an appointment with an orthopedist in Canada to treat my aching right shoulder; the waiting time, just for an initial consultation, was 10 months. How could you be proud of that?
"You're right," Davies said frankly. "We keep people waiting, to limit costs. But you have to understand something basic about Canadians. Canadians don't mind waiting for elective care all that much, so long as the rich Canadian and the poor Canadian have to wait about the same amount of time."
Reid was so impressed with Davies' admission that he ended his piece by repeating the quote and implying that American policymakers need to consider a more "ethical" approach to health care policy:
"Canadians don't mind waiting for elective care all that much, so long as the rich Canadian and the poor Canadian have to wait about the same amount of time." In that one sentence, Marcus Davies laid out the ethical basis of Canada's health-care system. The question facing Americans this fall is: what should be the ethical basis of America's health-care system?
At the close of the article, a note about Reid informs readers that the author "was the Correspondent for Two [sic] PBS Frontline documentaries based on" his book "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care."