Our political leaders have been bragging about Vermont acting as a “petri dish” to advance even more radical plans for a government takeover of healthcare than what was signed into law by President Obama. They have made significant progress and are now touting Vermont as the “Saskatchewan of the United States“. Saskatchewan, Canada is considered the birthplace of the single-payer system. They are intentionally targeting the Canadian model of bringing about “Social Medicine”. In Canada, the movement started in Saskatchewan with what has come to be called the “Saskatchewan movement”. The intention of many on the left is not to stop with a single payer system. Consider the following excerpt for an article entitled “Health Care Reform: a Socialist Vision“, which appeared in the March 2010 edition of the Journal “Social Medicine”.
“Those of us on the Left who have been active in the single payer movement have always seen it as a steppingstone toward health-care justice: until the question of access to care is solved, how do we even begin to address not only health care but also health inequities? How, for example, can working-class Americans, Americans of color, and women demand appropriate, respectful, humane, first-rate care when our ability to access any health-care services at all is so tightly constrained?”
In short, it is not enough to simply put the payment for healthcare services under government control, the whole healthcare system, including delivery, must also come under government control. In Canada this approach started in the Providences, rather than coming about through a national initiative such as Obamacare. In particular, the pioneering role was played by the Providence of Saskatchewan:
The Saskatchewan movement, originating in the 1940s, called for “a complete health plan, a full range of hospital and medical services administered by the province and provided by persons on salary.”5 Stan Rands, one of the founders of the Saskatchewan system, argued that the achievement of the Medicare program “was not a radical step because it did not change social structures to permit health care to become oriented to service. It left unchanged the basic features of capitalist health care delivery. Health programs are still dominated by the medical profession; the doctor-patient relationship is still an authoritarian one, thus reinforcing capitalist class relations. The fee-for-service method of payment has been retained, thus making health a commodity to be bought and sold.”
It might be a good idea for Vermonters to take a good look at just where our leaders are taking us under the guise of healthcare reform. Do we really want to let our political leaders turn our state into a laboratory for social experimentation?