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False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Happy Birthday Saskatchewan Medicare from the U.S. Supreme Court

Fifty years ago, on July 1, 1962, Saskatchewan introduced the first universal health insurance program in North America. The United States Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a fitting birthday present. Even though the Act was passed two years ago it now has legs.

Granted the American plan may be better for the insurance companies and private hospital chains than the population. Nonetheless, it establishes that the Untied States can make health care accessible to all. It is a step towards a more functional, equitable, democratic and sustainable system.

Congratulations to

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Northern Reflections: Something To Celebrate

Robert Reich called it right — although he was one vote short. The day before the Supreme Court found the Affordable Care Act constitutional, he predicted that John Roberts would be the justice who would back the act. Conservatives are predictably furious. They accuse Roberts of everything from legal hanky-panky to treachery.

But Paul Krugman writes in today’s New York Times that: “This was a big day, a victory for due process, decency and the American people.” That’s because there are so many winners — not just the 30 million Americans who do not have health insurance:

In short,

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Those Emergency Blues: The Insanity of It All

Warning: my semi-annual politicalish post. When I read this, I admit I gawped:

$26,659: Our 2011 Medical Expenses

Yes, you read that right. And we had insurance coverage for everyone last year, including daughter, 16, and my son who is 23 years old. Let me break it down for you:

Insurance Premiums……………..$14,179.04 Prescription Costs…………………$ 7,198.00* Doctors Fees, etc…………………$ 2,068.49* Eye care……………………………..$ 404.28* Dental………………………………..$ 2,752.00** Mileage……………………………….$ 300.00

* Costs in excess of insurance coverage. ** No insurance coverage.

Our medical costs in 2010 were $18,636. The principal reason why our

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