District staffers feel they’re on shaky ground

If your purse is snatched or your home broken into, you should pay for the police to come and do an investigation. Why should my tax dollars help you? I worked hard so I could buy a house in a good neighborhood. If you don’t want to pay out of pocket for police protection, you can buy your own police insurance or work hard like me and get a job that comes with police insurance.

Same thing for your kids’ school. Get a job with education insurance, buy your own or pay for your kids’ darn school. They’re your kids, not mine. I shouldn’t have to pay for them to learn how to read and write and count. Keep that socialized police protection away from me. If I wanted commie kindergarten, I’d move to Venezuela!

These first two paragraphs are pretty insane, huh? Police protection and childhood education are basic public goods that are rightfully paid for by our collective tax dollars. Yet this imaginary privatized public safety and educational system is exactly what the United States has for health care.

Instead of just, you know, having everyone’s collective taxes pay for doctor visits and medications and surgeries, we’ve created a byzantine system where those lucky enough to have the right jobs get it paid for, but only partially, by their employers.

Meanwhile, others are left to pay out of pocket. And before former President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, a person couldn’t even purchase health insurance out of pocket if he was deemed too sickly. Thankfully, ObamaCare has expanded health care access to millions more. But it’s only step one, and the United States still remains the only advanced nation without some form of universal health care.

Of course, Canada and Western Europe are far from perfect. Canada has historically treated its indigenous people horribly. The United Kingdom voted for Brexit because racist white people in the countryside were scared of diversity in London. Spain’s far right Vox party, which does Nazi salutes at deceased dictator Francisco Franco’s grave and shouts the slogans “Make Spain Great Again” and “Drain the Swamp,” jumped from 24 to 52 parliamentary seats in the most recent election. And in 2017, Marine Le Pen, leader of the radical anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant National Front party, came in second for the French presidency. But at least these nations all provide their people with health care.

Sean Pidgeon


Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(14) comments


Yes hermit, lets rely on the statistics of the liberal government of Canada. I didn't hear anything about quality, did you miss that part. Our system does need work but not Medicare for all.

hermit thrush

i guess you missed that part because in fact canadian quality is excellent.

what is not excellent is spinning wild conspiracy theories about "the liberal government of Canada" -- never mind that loads of statistics come from third party organizations. about the quality of thinking you'd expect from a vince foster truther.


I didn't miss it because you didn't type it. Having been reading these forums for years but never commenting until recently I have continued to see how you are black and white or should I say red and blue? This conversation continues with that theme. Even when I say that our system needs work you hold strong with your socialist views. Don't hold our breath, the voters continue to show that they want more moderation than leftist ideals and the Democrats keep fueling this fire. The impeachment has garnered many votes for the Republicans and once Trump is exonerated, I'm sure their behavior will solidify the 2020 election. The 2016 election was a lest of 2 evils election between Trump and Clinton and 2020 will be the same with anybody but a socialist liberal.

hermit thrush

Even when I say that our system needs work you hold strong with your socialist views. Don't hold our breath, the voters continue to show that they want more moderation than leftist ideals and the Democrats keep fueling this fire.

your worldview is simply immune to actual evidence. democrats ran the 2018 midterm campaign laser-focused on health care, and in particular, giving government a greater role in health care. the verdict of the voters was to flip 40 seats to the dems.

The impeachment has garnered many votes for the Republicans and once Trump is exonerated, I'm sure their behavior will solidify the 2020 election.

says who? it is wild to assert these suppositions with such certainty. here in the reality we actually live in, impeachment and removal is more popular than not.


Some things are best provided by a free market, other things are best provided by the government. Law enforcement should be public rather than private because when individuals (or private armies) take the law into their own hands there is anarchy and strife. There is no standard other than the law of force. If you advocate that, guess what, you've lost because the government has more force. So law enforcement is of a class of industries that should rightly be public because standardization is required. Less profound variants of this are fields where licensing is required, but people can practice privately. Driving comes to mind. Then there are things that are necessities. Most people believe the government should make it its business to create an environment in which everyone can get everything they profoundly need. Ideally, the government can act with a light hand mostly, and foster conditions in which necessities are easily available to all. An example is promotion of agriculture so that food is cheap along with promotion of a thriving economy so that jobs are plentiful, so that everyone can afford food. If worse comes to worst, the government can provide food stamps. While utilities, like electricity, seem ideal for centralization (after all, competing companies can't string separate power lines to each house) we seem to have worked out a system of regulation (analagous to licensing) that ensures this near necessity is pretty available to all without monopolistic gouging. Medical care, as primarily a service provided by people who have invested in developing skills, is seems more like something that should be left to the market. But it turns out to be a necessity prone to gouging. If the medical industry gets socialized and the medical insurance industry gets eliminated they have only their own greed to blame. We have tried to accommodate.


I don’t know, for-profit health care helped make the opioid crisis. That’s been great for the North Country.

Holmes -- the real one

Good letter, Sean Pidgeon.


Yeah, other than missing some main points. Canada has a health care system that will take care of your basic needs but to get good healthcare, when you want, you will pay what we pay here. Kind of like saying we are going to provide a motive of transportation for everyone and then giving them a bicycle and telling them if you want a car you'll have to buy it yourself. Oh, you won't be able to because you'll be paying too much in taxes to pay for everyone's bicycle.

hermit thrush

i lived in canada for a bit and what you are saying couldn't be further from the truth.


I have family that currently live there and it's exactly what they are saying. The wait time to get seen is far too long and there are many procedures, both needed and elective, that are not covered unless you purchase private insurance. Fortunately they can now afford it but couldn't for many years.

hermit thrush

well, i guess our experiences just differ, then. which only goes to show the more important point that we shouldn't rely on cherry-picked anecdotes but should instead look at the broad statistical aggregates. the latter shows that, in the aggregate, canadians pay much less for their health care (with a lot less bureaucratic run-around to boot), they're more satisfied with their health care system, and their middle class is better off than ours.


When somebody with no health insurance shows up with an emergency at the hospital what should the hospital do? I’d love to know your answer and remind you that you are theoretically Christian after you answer.


That is a completely different topic and can better be addressed in a discussion regarding holding people more accountable in regards to whether or not they have a job because under the ACA everyone who works should have health insurance and disabled and elderly will have Medicare.


That would help a lot with global warming. Let's do it.

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