We Should not Allow our Universal Health Care System to be Undermined

Dear Editor,

Re: Thankful but disgruntled”

I am thankful that I live in Alberta, Canada, and not in America. Canada is not perfect, no country is, but it ranks in the top ten (10) in the world every year for its democratic institutions, public health care, public education, social welfare programs for its citizens, environmental protection, political stability, etc. Whereas the US fails in many of these categories.

However, my ex-country, the US, has been rocked by one political controversy after another. One conspiracy theory after another. One vote recount after another, and continuous political battles over control of the US Congress and the US Supreme Court.

Some folks would lead us to believe that we can “bury our heads in the sands,” and the problems would go away, and some folks would lead us to believe that we can “pray” our problems away.

However, I am of the belief that we need to keep informed about the issues that affect our province and our country so that we don’t let our politicians get away with implementing laws which may ruin our province or our country. Below are some issues that should be addressed by popular vote (referendums) since too many of them are too important to be left up to politicians. In my opinion.

We should not allow our universal health care system to be undermined by some of our politicians who would like us to believe that “private health care” is more efficient and less costly than our present system. If that situation were the case, how come Americans’ private health care system is more costly and less efficient than ours (our for the universal health care systems in western Europe, Australia, NZ, etc)?

We should be pumping more money into our system, not into private health care. If folks want private health care, or private schools, or private energy companies, they should pay for them themselves. Stop subsidizing private businesses at the expense of public services!

Of course, some politicians know that there is “gold in them hills”. by going private to private health care. Just look at the health care system in the States, where a “three trillion plus dollar cottage industry” benefits private doctors, hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and the lawyers who defend them. A system where millions of Americans are excluded from receiving adequate health care, and where 60% of all bankruptcies are attributed to health care costs.

We should also be asking our new premier how much her new gov’t is costing the taxpayers (how much does each MLA earn, plus Per Diem allowances; how much does each cabinet minister earns above his/her base MLA salary; how much for each staff member is his/her office, etc.). After all, our politicians want the public to know about teachers and doctors, so we should know how much our top public servants (elected MLAs and Cabinet ministers make, eh?

We should also have referendums on the introduction of a provincial police force, or the establishment of a provincial pension fund, or the funding of private schools, etc. Unless our politicians can prove that putting money into any private business (private schools, private health care, private energy companies, etc.) are “essential to our society”, such as we did during WW 2 when we subsidized companies that produced military equipment.

The public should have a vote on the introduction of any new curriculum proposals by our politicians, such as the one being floated by our education minister. Do we want “American-style” education introduced in our province? If America’s education system is so good, how come it is behind Canada, the western Europeans, Japan, and China in the four core subjects (math, science, social studies/history, and language arts)? Why are American companies and universities hiring foreigners instead? A shortage of educated, skilled workers?

The public should vote on any new measures that would allow for the introduction of “American-style” gun laws (open carry; concealed weapons permits; sale and ownership of military weapons such as assault rifles, bump stocks, etc). Do we want “gun-toting people, such as we see in some “red states”, openly walking around in public?

Will new provincial gun laws make us safer? If that were the case, America would be the safest country on earth. Unfortunately, that is not the case since the US suffers nearly two mass shootings per day (at least 4 or more people killed or wounded per incident). No place is safe in the States, not in schools, shopping malls, concerts, athletic events, weddings, funerals, highways, churches, etc.

How come most western countries (such as Australia, NZ, Sweden, Norway, etc.) aren’t plagued by the gun violence that we see in the States?

Don’t let the gun lobby use the argument that registration of guns will lead to the demise of our democracy. Why? Do we register to vote? Do we register our cars? Our businesses? Are we required to obtain insurance and licences for our vehicles? Does AHS register our vaccine records? Are we not registered when we obtain a passport? Or when we fly commercial airlines or board cruise ships?

We should be allowed to vote against issues that may lead to the break-up of Canada. Should we allow a minority of people to decide the future of our province and our country?

On a personal note: I haven’t written recently because I have been involved in several events that took up much of my time and effort (the trip to Newfoundland to attend a wedding; my trip to California to attend my 60th high school reunion (we meet every five years), and our move to a new home in Olds.

Final comment directed to the individual who commented several weeks ago that I “forced” people to accept my views/opinion. Hmm? Strange comment since I’m not the premier of Alberta, nor the prime minister of Canada, nor the president of the US, nor the dictator of Russia, or China, or North Korea, or Iran, or Afghanistan, etc. Maybe he just doesn’t like my views against people who think they are “entitled” to ignore the rule of law, to ignore the Constitution, to ignore health restrictions which protect themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbours, to those who support conspiracy theories, to those who want to bring in American-style gun laws, and to those folks who support breaking-up our country (separatists).

George Thatcher

Olds, AB