Mediocre Medicare, and It’s Only Getting Worse

As one of his numerous Christmas anti-gifts to Canadians – the Grinch who would just not stop taking – Justin Trudeau, amongst his other infamies, is the first Prime Minister to balloon the national debt over the one trillion-dollar mark – but he does stand on the shoulders of other spendthrifts, quite liberal and generous with other people’s money. This, dear reader, is significant, for a ‘trillion’ – a thousand billion, or a thousand, thousand million – is a numerical value so large it cannot be imagined, never mind paid back.

To whom we owe this debt is complex – investors, from China and across the globe – but primarily it is owed to future generations, that is, our children, and our children’s children, to a thousand generations, who are now and will be forever in hock for our current indulgence. ‘Sacrifice’ – setting things aside, for a future reward, or to help those whom we may never see –  is not a term amenable to our millennial generation, and Mr. Trudeau, like his Dad, is their man, or boy, as the case may be.

Hence, everyone wants on the government payroll, we, the populus, the hoi polloi, the unwashed masses, scrambling for the front deck of the Titanic before it meets its icy fate. Or, to continue the analogy, we are being reduced to piglets, not far from Orwell’s Animal Farm, jostling for our place at the public trough, everyone trying to squeeze through the rumps of those in front. After all, public ‘service’ – the term has lost almost all of its original cachet – is fast becoming the only path to any sort of financial stability. Ponder that last car – or truck – rolling off the GM assembly plant in Oshawa the other day, as Canadians are no longer able to compete with Mexicans being paid a bare fraction of the salary GM must pay employees here (average wage for a Mexican auto worker is between $3.60 and $3.90 per hour, and let’s not talk about their retirement plans); and keep in mind that the Oshawa workers were at least unionized, many with ‘defined’ pensions, about as rare now in the private sector – the only sector that actually produces wealth – as a dodo bird sighting in Pickle Lake.

Third-world status is not as far away as many may think, especially those cocooned in their state-funded sinecures. It is already creeping into our health care system, and anecdotal stories abound. To offer but one recent personal experience, the physician I had seen a couple of time in the past few years for general check-ups – rarely, for God has granted me good health – recently had a stroke. I know not his status, but God bless him and his family.

So I called to be put on the waiting list for a physician, just in case – for passports and forms and the like. To my surprise, one could not request any particular ‘health care provider’, as they are termed now, but went on a general waiting list for the first available opening. I asked the lady how long that ‘waiting list’ was and – wait for it – the reply was over a thousand souls, all wandering outside our ‘universal health care’ system, with no doctor. I said, ‘that could take years’, and she sighed, and said, ‘yes, normally it is a three year wait’, and that, I thought to myself, is probably a placating underestimate. In the meantime, it means thousands, hundreds of thousands, sitting in crowded emergency rooms, for non-emergency ailments, clogging up an already clogged system, to see a physician who knows nothing about you, your history, your chart, your health.

The lady, whose name I did not get, for she, a busy, burdened bureaucrat, hung up before I could even wish her a Merry Christmas, said that part of the problem was the recent retirement of a physician in our area. I wonder how many of the old guard, blessed with a conscience, a sense of duty, the Hippocratic Oath – are getting out of the game before they’re forced to kill people, or being brought up on charges for not doing so. My own father, a physician, felt this, before himself retiring a few years ago.

So much for socialised medicine. You can’t find a doctor and, when you do, he’s – or now, more commonly, she’s – a paid assassin, or at least consenting thereto, willing to refer to someone who will. Think not that the notion of your ‘consent’ will long be a safeguard. A taste for painless death is not easily satiated, along with the loss of any perceived redemptive value in suffering (cf., John Paul II’s Salvifici Doloris). And think of the money it will save in that mountain of debt. Alas, dear reader, the measure we have given out will be what we will be given back, and, unless we do something now, euthanasia is coming for us all.

Many saw the folly, even deep evil, in the maudlin Medicare dream of Tommy Douglas, socialist, eugenicist and ‘equal care for all’ enthusiast from Saskatchewan. Equal, indeed; it’s just that some are more equal than others, as we have discovered with Andrew Scheer’s children being put through private school by Conservative ‘funds’; when discovered, it seems half of it was paid back, apparently, by you, the taxpayer. Mr. Scheer makes more than almost everyone reading this column, and does anyone think he and his privately educated children spend their time on waiting lists, lounging on uncomfortable plastic chairs in crowded emergency rooms, watching the inanity of CNN?

Socialising anything – that is, putting it fully under governmental control and funding – always vitiates the endeavour, and leads to favouring the few at the expense of the many. Our schools, from junior-k to university – are another prime example, graduating a nation of illiterates (hence, the private schools and studies abroad for the ‘elite’)

And yet health care eats up about half our budget, nearly everyone in the racket raking in six figures and then some (average salary of a physician in Ontario is over $340,000, and remember that many, especially of the fairer sex soon to make up the majority of physicians, work what may be considered part-time). One could shovel in four times the money, and it would still be a disaster, besides bankrupting Canada more quickly and deeply than we are already. The good will and charity requisite for any sort of humane health care are in short supply, as a mercenary spirit fills the ranks. Where, oh where, are the Sisters?

Already the Liberal deficit – how much they are in the red each fiscal year or term – has spiraled out of control, and they have scarcely even begun, debt be damned. It’s like watching a teenager with Dad’s stolen credit card, out on a drunken, drug-fueled spree, everyone having a great time in the flow of beer, shots and nachos, the faint glow of the dreaded morning seemingly so far away, when the sun unveils the darkness of the lies and deceit, and a long, brutal hangover awaits…

But morning arrives for us all, and the Son is on His way…