Retired educator Derlyne Gibson took one of our State legislators to task recently for dumping a bunch of 'facts' gleaned from the internet to prove that Canadians are dissatisfied with their national health care service. Well, there are facts, and there are facts.
According to a December 7, 2010 article in the Star Phoenix--a conservative Phoenix, Arizona newspaper--50% of Canadians are mad about having to wait for services, but once in the system, 89% of them are satisfied with all aspects of the care they receive. A whopping 87% of Canadians reject plans to go back to the old private insurance approach we use here in the United States; Canadians are not denied services, they just don't want to wait so long for them.
But who knows which facts are actually facts? I don't. It could be that the Star Phoenix is printing a lot of malarky.
What I do know is that elected officials have a higher burden and a greater responsibility to solve problems than average citizens like Mrs. Gibson--and they're not doing their job when they cherry pick 'information' off the internet for the sole purpose of making an opposing political party look like dumbbells.
That opposing party may be comprised of genuine dumbbells for all anyone really knows--but what's that go to do with the price of beans Berryville, Arkansas? Here are a couple of facts that also have the value of being true:
A man living on Pritchard Street in Berryville recently had what looked like a heart attack and went to our local hospital for help. It wasn't a heart attack; it was a bad case of chili, but his 4 hours in the emergency room cost $3,000. No, he didn't have insurance even though he's employed full time in a "good" job.
In February this year a pal of mine had an apparent heart attack while on a layover in Paris, France. Off he went to the emergency room and...his case of indigestion cost $12.
Why does indigestion cost $3,000 in Berryville, and $12 in France?
I'm a healthy self-employed man who hasn't (knock wood) been to a doctor in three or four years, but I pay Blue Cross Blue Shield about $13,000 a year for health insurance.
Now, my Farm Bureau Insurance agent informs me that I can expect to pay at least 30% more over the next couple of years--plus age related rate increases. That's right; he estimates that my health insurance will cost me $17,000 a year pretty quick. What do you suppose I'll do? What would you do?
We know the answers to those questions. What we really want to know, though, is: what will our elected problem solvers do to make things in Berryville, Arkansas better?
What I suspect they'll do is to play victim, and continue to act helpless. 'If only so and so wasn't X, Y & Z why, there would be heaven on earth and we'd all be in clover,' they cry.
Personally, I've had enough. If all it takes to govern is barking and crying, then we might as well send my Jack Russell Terrier to Little Rock. At least she stays off the internet.