Monday, 11 February 2013

I'm Too Stupid To Think! Gov. To The Rescue

One of the problems with publicly funded health care is that the overseers get to tell us what we can and cannot do.  This obviously limits our freedom of choice, but more prominently, forces each taxpayer to pay into a massive national program.

Quebec’s recent decision to ban tanning beds to minors is an example of a freedom that individuals must give up because lawmakers think they know what’s best.  Since the government pays the healthcare bill and will ultimately foot the bill for the kid’s choices, they feel obliged to decide on their behalf.  Ironically the most vocal proponents of “woman’s control over their body” on the abortion debate hop the fence on tanning beds pronouncing that a woman shall have no control over their body when it comes to tanning, least they face a $100 fine.

If a government passes a law, there is a presumption the law is on the right side of the moral fence.  Now that minors do not tan in Quebec, we can all take a deep breath of relief and think; “It’s the right thing to do”.

“Free healthcare” comes at a significant cost to our freedoms by allowing the government to impose morality on the population through the creation of healthcare specific laws: consequence free to the patient, consequence filled to the taxpayer.

Governments will continue to envelope the population with requirements on how we ought to live our lives until there is a collective voice that pushes back towards a more private healthcare system that imposes costs on individuals (with a support system for those who lack…I am not calling for a “crash and burn--you’re on your own” system).

Perhaps if people see the consequences of their poor choices then coughed up the money to get better, we would see a healthier Canada.  As we know, a significant portion of North America’s sickness is brought on by poor choices (again, some sickness/diseases are 100% no fault of an individual).

Before the cat-calls of ‘cruel’ and ‘heartless’ are tabled, consider a compassionate position:

Imagine a society in which people who choose to ruin their bodies are able to do so, but then pay the cost themselves. Perhaps this individual will turn to family, friends and loved ones in a time of need and we can see real change: from the inside out.  Imagine those who made good choices now have much more dispensable cash because the government is not taxing them for a national healthcare system.  Furthermore, their premiums are so low because they make good, healthy choices.

The key to a healthier Canada is not government imposed laws through micro-control of each choice we make.  Freedom to choose, then pay for mistakes is a great way to learn. It’s cheap, harsh, humbling and effective; especially when we can turn to those who love us for help. If we want to see change in others, influence and mercy is a more powerful agent then law.  Parents, until we see an overhaul with Canada’s healthcare system, let’s lead by example. 


*In another blog entry, I will tackle what I propose is a compassionate position with respect to low income families.  Also, what about disease/sickness that is no fault of an individual?  Neither case do I propose, “let them suffer” followed up with devilish laughs.


1 comment:

  1. A beautiful example of privatized healthcare system where people pay for diseases of their "own fault": where you spend $ 8,508 per capita (compared to $4,522 in Canada) and accomplish worse healthcare quality indicators (lower life expectancy, higher percentage obese, higher infant/maternal mortality rate, and many more), and all while leaving 40,000,000 people uninsured and many whole families bankrupt due to unexpected illness = United States of America. To denounce the benefits of health policy and its undeniable contribution to most significant decreases in smoking rates (a popular "own fault" health risk factor) is quite naive. Similarly, rates of motor-vehicle crashes are greatest among young drivers and legal drinking age increases have reduced rates of alcohol-related mortality and disability. Therefore, health policy is most effective for broad(common) public health concerns. Skin cancers (basal-cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and most seriously malignant melanoma) collectively blitz the rest of cancer-types combined (with over 35,000 new cases annually in Ontario, compared to around 8,000 each for breast, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers). These are essentially exclusively the result of lifetime UV exposure and sun burns. The earlier one begins exposure to UV rays, the greater your cumulative lifetime risk. By delaying onset of sun-worshipping behaviour to adulthood, and perhaps reducing its incidence (the amount of new people who start tanning), this is indeed progressive policy; and rather than "controlling" serves to protect and inform society. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - in principle and in dollars (and from what I read, you talk at nauseam about your money). The truth of the matter is that individuals, who on average carry a narrow understanding of health literacy, need guidance from health bodies who advise on harmful health behaviours that impact Canadians - banning tanning beds to youth has been recommended and strongly advocated by the likes of Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Dermatology Association, the Canadian Cancer Society and the World Health Organization. The evidence in the medical research literature respectfully disagrees with you. Spend a day with me in the clinic and I'll show you. - An Ontario Physician.


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