Canadian health-care advocates fire back
TheGlobeandMail.com – National – Canadian health-care advocates fire back: YouTube video intended to correct what they see as misconceptions about Canada’s health resources being batted about in heated American health-care debate
Aug. 28, 2009. Anna Mehler Paperny
There are no death panels, no reference to “Obamacare” and no Shona Holmes. But vocal advocates of Canada’s health-care system have shot back at American detractors with a tamer brand of YouTube video, intended to correct what they see as misconceptions about Canada’s health resources being batted about in the heated United States health-care debate.
The eight-minute video clip features interview segments with former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow, the president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, members of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, and other physicians and researchers extolling Canada’s “real” universal health-care system, and expressing bemusement that it could meet anything but praise and envy south of the border.
“The battle that’s going on in the United States taps into Canadian emotions,” Mr. Romanow, who headed the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, says in the clip.
“ The battle that’s going on in the United States taps into Canadian emotions. ” — Former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow
“[Canadians] object to the misrepresentation, mischaracterization of the Canadian system by a lot of the American opponents.”
Steven Lewis, Saskatoon-based health policy and research consultant, says Canadians are happier with their health-care system than they were 10 years ago, and they should be.
“If [Americans] want to use our system as a whipping boy in their own propaganda wars, it’s mildly irritating. … We should hope for our American brothers and sisters that they get it right, but I for one don’t much care about what right-wing superstitions Americans want to put out there about our Canadian system because ultimately they’re the ones who suffer from their own ignorance.”
The clip, helpfully titled “Universal health-care message to Americans from Canadian doctors and health-care experts” has been viewed more than 26,000 times since it was posted Aug. 22.
Canadian health care has become a lightning rod in the debate over U.S. health care ignited by President Barack Obama’s vow to reform the country’s system.
Canada’s role heated up when Shona Holmes of Waterdown, Ont., appeared in a commercial sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, claiming she had to travel to the U.S. to seek medical treatment for her brain tumour, and would have died had she waited to obtain care in Canada. The clip sparked strident condemnation in Canada, where Ms. Holmes was branded a traitor, and further fuelled rhetoric decrying “socialized” health care in the U.S.
YouTube Clip: < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXXBCFnhsUc >.
PatientsUnitedNow.com YouTube clip: < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWxcv0Dummk >.
< http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadian-health-care-advocates-fire-back/article1267586/ >.