Palin and the other Medicare

PALIN AND THE OTHER MEDICARE…. Former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin (R) was asked a question the other day about Canada’s Medicare system. The question wasn’t especially serious — it came from a satirical television show — but the answer was pretty interesting.

At a recent stop on her “Going Rogue” book tour, Sarah Palin told Canadian comedian Mary Walsh that Canada should get rid of its public health care system.

Walsh is the co-creator and star of This Hour Has 22 Minutes — a nightly news parody show in the same vein as The Daily Show — and she arrived in character, as the conservative Marg Delahunty, to the Borders where Palin (the “Alaskan Aphrodite”) was signing books.

“I just wanted to ask you if you have any words of encouragement for Canadian conservatives who have worked so hard to try to diminish the kind of socialized medicine we have up there.” Walsh shouted to Palin as she approached the table.

Palin’s handlers tried to help her by ushering Walsh out of the Borders, but Palin could not be deterred. When Palin left the signing, Walsh caught up with her in the parking lot, where Palin suggested that Canada should get rid of its public health care system. “Keep the faith,” Palin said, “because common sense conservatism can be plugged in there in Canada too. In fact, Canada needs to reform its health care system and let the private sector take over some of what the government has absorbed.”

A few things to consider here. First, as Igor Volsky explained, Palin’s confused about the role of the private sector in the Canadian system.

Second, Palin may be convinced that Canada “needs to reform its health care system,” but Canadians strongly disagree. (Indeed, the last thing most of the industrialized world wants is a health care system more like ours.)

And third, if Palin thinks Canada’s Medicare system should be at least partially privatized, does she also believe America’s Medicare system, which is very similar, should also be partially privatized? Indeed, would destroying Medicare as we know it be part of what she considers “common-sense conservatism”?