Yesterday, my Facebook news feed was moving at light speed after word hit the great electronic void that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Obama's mandate that approximately 30 million uninsured Americans should be required to purchase health insurance. The 5-4 decision by the high-and-mighty judges is a major victory for Americans, but unfortunately, too many of them are too ignorant to understand why. This landmark decision puts into place one of the most important social programs in decades, and will effectively eliminate many of the bonehead insurance practices that prevent many people from obtaining health insurance (pre-existing condition, anyone?).
If you want more about the details of the decision, I suggest reading this Washington Post article and checking out some of the related links. What I find most infuriating is this amalgamation of Tweets and Facebook conversations by Americans who claim they want to move to Canada because of this decision. Reading them should have made me laugh, but instead, I had to shake my head at the abject ignorance on display by clueless people who think that moving to Canada holds the promise of a better life - at least from a health insurance perspective.
Well, here's some news, my fellow Americans: Canada has had a government-sponsored healthcare system in place for 50 years. While it is a far from perfect system, Canadians have been living with it, and for the most part, thriving. The earth hasn't opened up and swallowed anyone up, nor has Parliament spontaneously combusted during the ongoing debates about how to improve it. And here's the kicker: three men, Tommy Douglas, John Diefenbaker and Lester Pearson (the latter of the three are former Prime Ministers), each with diverse political ideas, managed to come together to create the system that is still in use today. That much cannot be said for American politicians; Democrats are celebrating the decision, while Republicans are crying in their tea over it.
To all the Tweeters who want to move to Canada, the joke is very clearly on you. There have been many knee-jerk reactions to various American policy changes by legions of political ignoramuses and the solution always seems to be, "I'm moving to Canada!" There were times when I agreed with that sentiment, but this particular trumpeting of "life is better in Canada" is at best laughable, and at worst, an indication of just how stupid some Americans really are. Yeah, the American public school curriculum doesn't teach its kids all that much about their neighbours to the north, but with all the access to technology we now have, a simple Google of "Canadian Health Care" would have made many of these moronic Tweeters refrain from posting their threats of flight. And, before any more of you start calling the United States of America the "USSA" (United Socialist States of America), I suggest doing a little more research on Canadian politics. Canada in no way resembles the old USSR, but it does have significantly more social programs in place to benefit its citizens. And that's with a conservative government in place, mind you.
The heath insurance issue will never be one that is not fraught with controversy. I applaud President Obama and the U.S. Supreme Court for taking the necessary steps to make life better for all Americans, but I soundly boo all Americans who think moving to Canada is the answer to escaping these so-called socialist policies. Do your homework, people; reading about your ignorance is giving me a headache. And before you go shooting bullets in my direction, I have an Ontario Health Insurance Plan card in my wallet, and I am a citizen of both countries.
Have a great weekend, a happy Canada Day, and God save the Queen.