#23-10 – Obama’s health plan is not Canadian Medicare.

With the vote of the House of Representatives on March 22, Barrack Obama achieved more than any president of the United States in the past 100 years. He overcame bigotry, hypocrisy and right-wing idiocy to finally pass a form of health care for Americans. It was a remarkable accomplishment considering the legions of opposition he had to defeat.

But make no mistake, it is not Canadian Medicare that was passed. It is a pale shadow of Medicare. Yes it makes a start at curbing the insurance companies in their abuse of the sick, it takes a few faltering steps towards cutting exorbitant drug expenses, it opens the door to forcing employers to fund employee health plans and it takes the giant step of including another 30 million Americans in health care coverage. And it only costs about a trillion dollars. Americans never do anything small.

What is different is that over the years, the plan will improve. It has lots of room to do that. Cost controls will be its biggest problem. A vast centralized bureaucracy will stifle innovation. It will take intelligent communications programs to reduce abuse. It is just a beginning.

But its greatest failure is that it fails women. It denies them control of their bodies. There will be no abortions on this health care plan. And you need not blame just obstinate, bigoted Republicans for that. It was the ignorant, red-neck southern Democrats who Obama had to have on side that drew the line at abortion being in the plan.

Mind you, if Stephen Harper could ever get a majority government in Canada, his Reform buddies would make short work of women’s rights under Canada’s Medicare. It would be part of Harper’s ‘get-even’ agenda for the pacifist face he has had to wear in the past few years of minority government. You can see why he resents even keeping Parliament in session for the constraints it places on his hard-right instincts.

To President Obama, we send the kudos. It is an imperfect solution in an imperfect world. As we said, it is just a beginning. We wish him well.

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