Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Health Care

A few days ago we arrived at the entrance to Halifax with a barge loaded with 7 and a half million gallons of Diesel oil. I guess they’re expecting a tough winter.

As is the norm, we can’t proceed through Canada’s pristine waterways with a barge load of pollutant until a River Pilot comes on board. His job is to advise our Captain on the safest way to proceed to the dock. We just love it when we can get to a dock without running aground or hitting something. The “Pilot” knows every inch of the river we will be transiting and is a very valuable guy to have on board. It’s not our choice, it’s the law.

When I knew he was on board, I ventured up to the wheelhouse, for no other purpose then to see a new face. This particular gentleman was a really nice guy, and the captain, I and the pilot chatted about this and that before he steered the discussion to politics.

“So”, he said, “I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on Mr. Obama’s health care plan?” I immediately replied, “I’m interested in your thoughts, as a Canadian citizen with National Health Care, on what you’re seeing taking place in the States concerning this debate?”

In a nut shell he said he doesn’t understand why there is so much opposition to a National Health Care Plan. He went on to say, “Here in Canada, you get sick, you go to the doctor. You need an operation, you go to the Hospital. It applies to everyone, the rich, the poor and the homeless. And you don’t pay a cent.”

He did acknowledge that his taxes are higher, but he sort of shrugged, insinuating, “Isn’t it worth it?”

It was all I could do to stop from running up to him and hugging him. For reasons I can’t understand, I seem to be on a deserted Island on this boat when it comes to this Health care Plan, and actually, all things politics, I really enjoyed talking to him about this subject, and it just confirmed to me that this is really the best way to go.

As I look ahead and start dreaming of the day I can retire, the big concern is my medical. My daughter just graduated from college and all I could think about is I hope she gets a job quickly so she’ll have a medical plan. Mr. Canadian River Pilot has no such thoughts. He’s been covered from the day he was born and he’ll be covered until the day he dies. Every Canadian citizen has the same plan. That’s security. Point me to the window that says, “pay more taxes here and get medical coverage for life”, and I’ll be the first dude in line.

And for those who ask, “How will we pay for this,” we can start by dismantling the hundreds of old out of date Federal programs that we pay millions into yearly. One example, I believe we still have a fleet of Dirigibles as part of our National defense. Millions of dollars spent yearly, on what?

What good are dirigibles these days?


Janney said...

Oh yeah. It's like that here in New Zealand. Free health care, education and retirement... and the dole if you can't find work or are sick. We pay taxes, but its worth it. (We have next to no homeless people... only those who choose the lifestyle)

dcpeg said...

I'm totally with you, Mark. I think too many Americans are afraid of changing the status quo to see the wisdom in a national healthcare plan. FRUSTRATING!!

Enjoyed the story about the harbor pilot. I know a recently retired pilot from Massachusetts. Must be an interesting job.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the opposition to the healthcare reform Mark. And some of the reactions have been downright scary. Of course, we have National healthcare in the U.K and I am eternally grateful for it. But there have been problems with it. Not because free healthcare doesn't work, but because we have too many managers and not enough nurses or doctors on the floor.

Many people lament the day when our hospitals lost the Matron. They ruled with an iron fist and consequently wards were kept clean and providing adequate care came first. The focus was upon health and not budgets and management.

Megan said...

What is a dirigible? Seriously. I've never heard that word before., here I come!

Mark said...