Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Health Care Lobby's Logic is scary.

The Charest Government is finally taking steps to allow private health insurance to operate in Quebec in order to comply with the Supreme Court Decision issued last summer. And of course, you have the usual opponents using the very same arguments made by their brethren across Canada. Now the main argument used by these people basically revolves around this theory:

"The Rich" will have better, faster health care and that is unfair to the people who can't afford private health care.
(I know! I know! There are other arguments such as doctor shortage, but it still comes down to the rich profiting and the poor suffering)


In other words...equality. Equality according to their logic, should be the ideology used to guide our health care decisions as this service is too essential to be divided un-evenly among socioeconomic groups.

Now let me explain to you just how wrong (and freaking scary!) this ideology is by using a simple case study, just by using the logic used by the HealthCare lobby in Canada on other matters.

What I'm going to do is describe other products and services that are deemed "essential" to our well-being.

1. Housing: Everyone needs a place to eat and sleep in safety and privacy. It is an essential product to a person's physical and psychological well being.
2. Food: No food= Death. Its as simple as that.
3. Transportation: In this day in age we need some method that will take us to work, school, hospitals, social events and commercial centers. Say you wake up tomorrow and all means of transportation (cars, buses, trains, bikes and planes) magically disappear, the lives of 99 per cent of the people on earth would turn into a crisis mode.

Allright, now I'm going to use two variables of people and the "two tiered" fashion which they receive these products and services. Next I'm going to describe the inequality. And finally, with the ideology the healthcare lobby uses in their debates, come up with a solution to bridge the inequality.

The two subjects are:
1. A typical 47 year old Corporate Lawyer, Law Degree from McGill, kid, wife, Annual Income range after taxes: 100K-200K. (Fictional Character)
2. Me: 23 years old, Entry Level job in a Bank, B.A in Economics , no wife, no kids. Annual Income range after income taxes: 20k-30k.

Let's Begin!

Housing:
1.
The Lawyer: Lives in a big 5 bedroom house in the suburbs, 5 bathrooms, huge living room, huge dining room, big kitchen, amazing backyard with a swimming pool, Big Garage. Big basement. State of the art A/C system.
Me: Shares a 4 1/2 apartment close to downtown with a roommate. 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, small kitchen, reasonable sized-living room, small radiators in each bedroom and the living room. Ummm, That's it.

Inequality: He gets a bigger house, he's more comfortable when he goes home from work, he has a bigger space, nice neighborhood, more space to stretch his feet, more space for privacy etc. I on the other hand don't have much space. Apart from locking myself in my room, I have little privacy. My neighborhood is not as safe. And It gets less comfortable in the summer with no cooling system.

Solution according to the healthcare lobby logic: It is absolutely unacceptable for the rich to be living off so lavishly, while others have to live with less luxury and more hardship. Further more as real-estate is a limited resource, it is also unacceptable that few people have so much space at their disposal while the majority don't enjoy as much breathing room. Such two-tiered housing is an affront to "Canadian Values" and therefore the government should nationalize all housing units. And engage in a massive re-building project to make housing an equal entity for ALL Canadians. A family of 4 of low income should live under the same housing conditions as a high-income family of 4. The size of your bedroom shouldn't be determined by the size of your wallet! And if the quality and quantity of housing reaches troubling levels, then the solution is to increase funding. This will also decrease the price we pay for housing overall.

2. Food

The Lawyer's high paying job gives him the opportunity to make Steak and seafood regular dinner dishes at his household. The fridge is filled with snacks and beverages. It is safe to assume that no one in his household goes hungry. If he or his wife are in no mood to cook, he can afford to take his family out to a fine restaurant every day of the year. He's able to afford the healthiest food varieties there is. And to top it off, he probably has a his own collection of wine, spirits and cocktails to enjoy.

As for me, well... Due to my inferior income, Kraft Dinner and cold cut sandwiches make up most of my dinners. If I ever eat out, its Subway. And I can only afford to do so once or twice a week. Our fridge is half-empty most of the time. And as for alcohol...just plain cold beer.

Inequality: He gets top class food, he obviously has more financial flexibility to eat almost whatever he wants, whenever he wants. I on the other hand have to check the price tags whenever I go grocery shopping, I don't exactly have the luxury to buy whatever I want to eat when I consider my budget. I think its obvious which one between the two of us is more comfortable whenever we open a menu at a restaurant or enter a grocery store.

Solution according to the healthcare lobby logic: With food being a necessity for all of us, we cannot allow such inequality to take place, as it has the danger to make a large part of the population malnourished, while the rich are well fed and thensome. With the scarcity of food in this world, it is essential that everybody have the same right of nourishment as everybody else, no matter what their income or background is. Therefore, to ensure this equality, we propose that the state should nationalize all the farming and produce industry, and simply hand out rations to every household in Canada an equal quantity and quality of food. (Considering the size of the household). Any problems with this program can be solved by extra funding.
3.

Transportation:


Lawyer: Has three cars in his household. One BMW for him, one SUV for his wife and a sports car for one of his kids. He's able to go wherever he wants, whenever he wants in a very comfortable fashion.
Me: I take public transportation. I take the bus to get to work and the metro to run my errands.

Inequality: He's able to get from Point A to Point B a hell of a lot easier than I can. I'm constrained by the bus schedule, so I have to schedule my time around it, where as he doesn't. I have to take the bus during the mourning and afternoon rush hours, where as he enjoys allot more leg room and comfort in his vehicle. I have to wait out in the cold on many occasions, where as he doesn't have to wait for anyone to get to his desired location. I'm restricted by the bus routes, where as he can go anywhere roads have been built.

Solution according to the healthcare lobby logic: Why should the people of higher income be able to travel more freely and comfortably, shouldn't we all have that same right? Therefore we propose that the government should ban all private vehicles from the road, and invest greatly in public transportation. This way, all Canadians regardless of income, are able to travel under equal conditions. This also helps improve safety and traffic as private individuals and drivers will only be concerned for their own safety and income, making the roads less safe and expensive to maintain on ordinary Canadians. Again if there's problems with the way the nationalized transportation works, then simply throw money at the problem. Privatizing or having a two-tiered transpiration system would also take away the best drivers from the public system, making the poor be in more danger.

Conclusion: Kind of scary isn't it?

2 Comments:

At Wednesday, 23 November, 2005, Anonymous Blue Cross of California said...

I am happy to hear the government is finally working to help improve the health care system in Quebec. I think everyone deserves health insurance.

 
At Thursday, 15 July, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

借錢 借貸 票貼

 

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