"How I lost my fear of Universal Health Care"

Worth a read: American blogger A Young Mom, who believed state-funded abortion was "a horrible thing," writes about how she changed her mind about Universal Health Care after realizing that affordable access to health care is associated with a lower abortion rate in Canada. She moved to Canada, and her opinions changed when she observed a single-payer system functioning in real life, not in rhetoric. (via @robertlavigne)


  1. Wouldn’t it be great if the Anti-abortion  crowd was less interested in eliminating rights and imposing religious morality judgements and more interested in… you know….  Like reducing the number of abortions and what not.

    1. They are trying to reduce that number.  They are just using a bon-headed method, because they are immune to reason.

      1. I’m not convinced.  Personally, I believe that the abortion issue is a wedge created by those in power, in order to be able to debate (relative) trivia in order to divert attention away from more fundamental issues such as war and corporatism.

        1. As a citizen of a country that had actual death panels, practiced euthanasia and forced abortions, I do n0t consider the issue to be trivial, even when you take religion out of it. 

      2.  Immune to reason, or not being honest about what they really care about? 

        It seems like they care about a power structure and not really about the termination of fetuses or even the deaths of infants.

        I think about the things I care about, and every time I talk to a pro lifer it seems they think a whole lot about religion and never actually look into what leads to abortions, or infant deaths, or anything of the sort.

        1. ”They never actually look into what leeds to abortions”

          Why yes, they do. But they do so in an irational manner. It’s chock full of magical thinking. They do not understand that it doesn’t simply come down to having different base values and preferences, which will lead to different results even when people use rational thought.

          1.  You have described the difference between thinking about something and pretending to think about something.

  2. Maggie posted this on July 20, and a spirited debate was had.

    (Sorry, not trying to be “that guy.”  Xeni adding her own perspective is valuable, but perhaps link back to Maggie’s write up?)

  3. This was posted before by Maggie and I think the comment by Jen Onymous there bears repeating:
    “You know what?  Fuck her for thinking she knew better than millions of individuals until she actually benefitted from the system.  Fuck her backwards.”

    To which I replied massive agreement and made the correlation between Reagan,Rock Hudson and AIDS, that the conservatives never give a shit about the reality of something until it affects them personally. People didn’t seem to get my connection. I was pointing out that Reagan couldn’t be bothered to care about AIDS since it was just disease that “f*gs” got, until one of those (closeted) “f*gs” was Rock Hudson, then the gears of the administration started turning and AIDS showed up on the conservative radar for funding.

    1.  I personally disagree. Over time I’ve come to appreciate the mere fact that someone can change their mind at all.  Sticking to an opinion in the face of overwhelming evidence is so common you’d think it was supposed to be a virtue.

      This person has not only changed her mind, but is also publicly trying to change the minds of others. Good on her I say.

    2. While I was never a fan of “the awesomeness of my position is so self-evident that anyone opposed is stupid, evil or both”, I see there’s a new standard.

      “The awesomeness of my position is so self-evident that anyone who was *ever* opposed is *irretrievably* stupid, evil or both.”

      FWIW, I’m a die-hard supporter of universal health-care.

      1. I think that’s an unfair characterisation of a valid point.

        Like, oh great, yay, a conservative has changed her mind. Therefore conservatives are perfectly capable of changing their minds?

        I don’t think so. They need their noses rubbed in it first; no amount of rational argument can do it. Neither will this one’s testimony, she’s exiled herself.

        It’s almost part of the very definition of conservative; lockstep with your designated authorities for all time. Dissent is treason. Nuance? Other.

        1. First, let me make clear my dispute was with the sentiment expressed by “Jen Onymous”, not bbonyx.

          But as far as I can tell, you called my characterisation unfair, but then do almost exactly the same thing: you are also claiming that the fact that your (and my) rational argument has failed to sway conservatives makes them stupid, evil or both.  Or as you put it

          lockstep with your designated authorities for all time. Dissent is treason. Nuance? Other.

          I’m curious as to what you think the solution to the problem of millions of conservatives is.  Disenfranchisement?  Execution of their designated authorities?  Exile?

          Obviously not.  Hence, the *only* solution is person-by-person gradual persuasion.  Sometimes it’s personal experience, sometimes it’s experience communicated directly, sometimes it’s a different angle of an argument.

          But in any possible world – sentiments like those of “Jen Onymous” are counterproductive.  They are choosing to air one’s own petty annoyances over the greater goal of advancing one’s policy.

  4. I truly believe that public opinion in this country is bought and paid for by the few that stand to profit from the current health care lack of system. Those few do not include those of us who absolutely rely on health insurance and have to pay for it, at any cost. To pervertaphrase Spock  in the wrath of Kahn… the wants of the few outweigh the needs of the many.  -Live long and prosper.

  5. Personally I found it amazing how long it took her to come around. She had to get pregnant and actually experience our system herself before she was willing to believe it was not a bad thing, this universal healthcare. What hope does America have if the only thing that’ll sway opinions towards sanity is personal experience?

    1. One of the issues down there is that there’s so much anti-socialist sentiment left over from the macarthy era that opposition to anything even remotely along those lines is basically a knee-jerk reaction for a large number of people.
      I mean, they still ban travel to Cuba, for god’s sake.

    2.  I think she describes having 2 children.  But in her defense she was really really ignorant at the beginning of the story.  She thought birth control was evil for instance.

  6. Up here in Canada we’re always amazed when we hear people arguing against things like universal health-care. Even moreso when we hear the arguments they raise against it.

    1. Let’s not get too self-congratulatory. 

      My mother is certainly the beneficiary of Canadian universal health-care, for which I am eternally grateful.  However, I cannot help but notice that the drugs and the medical procedures that have allowed her to live an active lifestyle (let alone survive) have all been developed in a for-profit health-care environment which justified the investment of billions of dollars (many of which failed to produce any profit at all to the spender).

      The Canadian government’s investment in deep, expensive health-care research is pretty minimal, and will remain that way when 9 out of 10 dollars fail to produce useful results.  After all, which government is going to risk spending billions to give the opposition the opportunity to lambaste the government for wasting money?  Let some other country do it, and we’ll use their research.

      I am a great fan of the Canadian health-care system, but it would be hypocritical of me to not acknowledge that parts of its success come from the proximity of a for-profit health-care system next door.  (It also provides a useful second tier, so that we don’t have to, keeping our system more viable against political pressures.)

  7. If you’re reading that post on her blog, be sure to also check out the nine-part series about her Christian minister husband discovering his gender dysphoria and becoming trans-gender, her discovering latent lesbian desires, both of them leaving the church, and raising their four kids as two moms. I’m not kidding.

    The series is AMAZING, written with remarkable clarity and introspection. It’s downright beautiful. Seriously.

      1.  I was wary of Poe’s Law too, while reading it — but she has a *LOT* of content written, all in the same voice and it’s not THAT implausible. Just check it out.

  8. It is continually surprising that folks in the US are so quick find a ‘commie plot’ in something so obviously benign as health care. 

    1. It’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.

      It beggars belief, in a world where you can’t turn your head five degrees without seeing some sign of a capitalist plot…

      It’s a bummer ‘sheeple’ somehow seems such a lame cliche; it’s hard to come up with something else as apt.

  9. I’ve been fascinated watching my American friends comment negatively via Facebook  on “socialized” healthcare.  Meanwhile, here in Australia, I take my kids to the doctor for free, and my father-in-law with stomach cancer is admitted, for free, into a public hospital, and treated for free.  As a US expat, I am incredibly grateful we have this social net here.  I also pay for private insurance, which cover private hospital care.  But if for some reason I couldn’t afford it, I wouldn’t have to worry.

    1. What I don’t get about my fellow Americans is why it’s okay to “socialize” fire and police protection, municipal maintenance and even the teaching of our children (services that can mostly also be replaced at a personal level by private versions if you have the means and wish to spend money on it) yet the idea of “socializing” medical care is taboo. Idiocy.
      Do Americans really think we aren’t all already kicking into a pot for the common good?

      1. A shocking number of those Americans would like to stop doing exactly that. 

        A while back, the radio program This American Life reported on Colorado Springs.  The administration there had shut off some of the streetlights after the population voted down a tax increase.  They offered residents a chance to turn the lights near their houses back on by paying a fee. 

        One resident interviewed was happy to pay up.  it cost him $300.  If the tax hike had passed, it would have cost him $200, and he would have gotten a lot more for his money than a street worth of street lights.

        But he didn’t mind paying more for less.  He thought it was great.  TAL said this was because he didn’t trust his city’s government to provide services, and he was just adamantly opposed to a tax increase.  Ira might also have pointed out another big reason: all of what he was paying was to his benefit, his alone.  None of it went to the “undeserving.” 

        Play a round of “Taps” for the commons in America.  It’s moribund, if not dead.

Comments are closed.