Misinformation on Canada


Matthew Holt has a great post on “the misinformation campaign about Canadian health care.” It’s true, every time the health care debate emerges, and people start clamoring for national health care, right-wingers flock to the scene with faux-horror stories about the Canadian system, most of it false. In fact, Canadians get equal or better health care outcomes for far less money than we do. Now I’m not convinced that there are big savings on spending to be had for the United States by switching to single-payer, but it’s certainly not going to be a catastrophe. Far from it—the 61 million Americans who currently have no or inadequate insurance will finally get coverage. That alone is worth the price of admission.

The other point we tend to forget is that America has an advantage that comes with being stuck in the Paleolithic age of health care: namely, that if and when we decide to overhaul the whole system and move to single-payer, technocrats in Washington can look at what other countries have done, observe what works and what doesn’t, and design our system with an eye towards improving on those experiments abroad. We don’t have to do everything exactly like Canada. If we think some people should be allowed to have private insurance to pay for new and experimental treatments, fine, we can model that feature on France’s system, which allows private insurance. If we think that Britain spends too little on certain types of treatment, fine, we can spend more. And so on. If Canada’s system has problems, why not look to see how they can be improved or fixed, rather than simply shuttering the whole project?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.