04 July 2019 – The US and Canada are one of the few economically developed countries where the policy of universal Medicare is yet to become a desired and deserving well-rounded reality for their peoples.
Thanks to the ‘Medicare Mafia,’ the process of achieving this desired reality continues to appear to be a herculean task. In the US, the ‘insurers, Big Pharma and the for-profit hospital industry are running scared,’ said Eagan Kemp, health care policy advocate for Public Citizen. ‘They know the public is lining up behind Medicare for All – which would improve coverage for every American. Now big money opponents are trying to leverage their political power to beat back Medicare for All, not on the merits, but through insider lobbying and front groups.’
‘Canadians don’t like to hear this but when it comes to pharmaceuticals, our health insurance system has plenty in common with the United States.’ Collen Flood, Director of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, University of Ottawa remarks. Evidently, in Canada also, ‘… there are plenty of wealthy corporate stakeholders who are very satisfied with the status quo and who will always put inflated profits ahead of people’s healthcare needs.’ Hassan Yussuff President of the Canadian Labour Congress notes.
In fact, a report by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions earlier this year uncovered a 600% increase in lobbying by at least one major industry group between 2017 and 2018. ‘The pharmaceutical industry sees the implementation of pharmacare as worthy of the deployment of unprecedented lobbying resources,’ concludes the report.
At present, it remains to be seen where the where the pendulum of this whole drama will swing in the corridors of government in these two countries. But the people of these two countries desire that their governments will decide in a direction that serves the public good not private interests on the policy of universal healthcare
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