Public Options – Produced by HumanKind

This radio show was on KUOW last night. It’s the best overview of the Canadian healthcare system I’ve heard. This debunks the myths, mainly American,about how they created it, what’s right and what’s wrong with the system. But it’s clear, we have a long way to go to give the same care as Canadians get. Their system was highly controversial when it went in, but is a given now. Unfortunately, the show is not free, but you can download it for $4.50 at this web site. If you are involved in wanting to see universal health care become a reality in America, you should listen to this and share it.

One takeaway is that the system was created as a provencial system, which was then adopted nationally. This holds out hope that perhaps we can create a regional, say west coast system, that could allow us to show what can be done in a best case scenario.

Most nations with advanced economies provide health care for all through a government-financed system. Even the United States offers a basic single-payer plan for seniors: Medicare. But for the rest of the population, health care is a mind-numbingly complex patchwork quilt – as well as a giant money maker for the health care industry. Hence the continuing, high-stakes battles over how to care for people’s medical needs. In this program we hear from two very knowledgeable experts:

Danielle Martin, a family physician and strong advocate of single-payer in Canada and author of Better Now. We listen to a short history of the early battles in Canada to launch this system – including a doctors’ strike – fascinating for Americans to hear.

Jacob Hacker, author of American Amnesia and Yale professor of political science who devised the Public Option, by which people with employer-provided insurance can keep their coverage, but others may opt-in to a new system that would be based on Medicare, which remains highly popular, yet has managed to restrain the medical costs.

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