MT Governor Brian Schweitzer Sells Canadian Health Care At Obama Town Hall
Now I know Governor Schweitzer is the Governor of a very liberal state, Montanans are practically the French, no? And, yet, he manages to very effectively dispel myths of "socialized" medicine, and argues for single payer, in a way that may even appeal to those Hyde Park Blue Dogs.
Via The Billings Gazette:
BELGRADE - As Gov. Brian Schweitzer warmed up the crowd Friday for President Barack Obama, he paid a lengthy compliment to a health care system that leading Democrats, including the president, have declared "off the table" as a reform here: the Canadian single-payer system.
"Did you know that, just 300 miles north of here, did you know they offered universal health care 62 years ago?" he said, referring to Canada's system of providing government-funded health insurance for all citizens.
Schweitzer, a Democrat, said he sometimes mentions the Canadian system when he hears people say that universal health coverage is a radical, new idea being rushed through the political process.
Quoting a Canadian journalist, Schweitzer said it was said that "there's more likelihood of a person in Canada being struck by lightning than there is a likelihood of a Canadian going to the United States for their health care."
Most of the crowd of 1,300 in the Gallatin Field Airport hangar roared its approval.
Via Great Falls Tribune:
Schweitzer told the crowd that Canadians recently selected former Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas — the "father" of Canada's single-payer health care system — as the greatest Canadian.
"He had a single proposition ... that we will cover every single person in Saskatchewan and elsewhere," Schweitzer said to another round of cheers.
The introduction had Obama spending the first few minutes of his presentation clarifying his opposition to Canadian health care:
"I'm not in favor of a Canadian system, I'm not in favor of a British system, I'm not in favor of a French system," he said. "What we've said is let's find a uniquely American system."
Obama said the majority of people in America get health insurance through their employers, and "we want to build on that."
"For us to completely change that, it would be too disruptive," he said. "Max (Baucus) and I agree, that's not the right way to go."