As I write this, we are only a day away from collectively celebrating our nation's birthday, and all of the freedoms our system of government has guaranteed for us.
I'm not about to launch into a treatise about how my personal view of freedom may be different from yours, but hey, people on Facebook. Get a clue. The U.S. Supreme Court did not take away your liberty last week.
Don Treadway, associate blog editor of The Huffington Post, noticed the compilation of Facebook posting and tweets on Twitter made by outraged citizens claiming they were going to move to Canada in an effort to avoid Obamacare. (Ah yes … the irony is palpable, but let's move on).
Treadway wrote that as a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, he felt a sense of responsibility to inform people that Canada probably isn't the best place to go to avoid universal health care. In fact, it hasn't been since 1966.
"While this may come as a disappointment to some who were hoping to blissfully drink Tim Horton's coffee while observing impoverished people die from treatable ailments, fear not: There are plenty of countries that you can move to where you'll have absolutely no government-mandated access to health care," Treadway stated.
First stop on his list: Haiti. "Not only would you be able to dodge socialist doctors, but you might be able to avoid medical professionals altogether: The country only has 25 physicians per 100,000 people. While access to clean water may be a bit spotty, this is more than made up for by the short life expectancy and the absence of Barack Obamas. Pack your swimsuit!" Treadway said.
Should you long to get a bit farther away from the USA, schedule a trip to Africa. No special place on the continent. Just about anywhere will do.
" … the majority of the continent of Africa is far away from both Obamacare – and any sort of care whatsoever," Treadway said. "In fact, for you diehard libertarians who hate having your government provide things, there aren't many places better-suited for you than Liberia. Not only will the Liberian government not provide you with health care, but it will also fail to provide for just about every other basic human need.
"It's no coincidence that the country's motto is, "The love of liberty brought us here," because nothing represents the anti-Obamacare brand of liberty than a very high risk of catching a serious infectious disease and a low likelihood of finding the resources to treat it," he added. "As a bonus for you fans of the Second Amendment who feel that it's necessary to have a gun on you at all times, you're going to love this beautiful land where that's probably a pretty good idea."
There are places in the world where worrying about something like the Supreme Court's ruling on Obamacare is indeed a luxury. Places like Turkmenistan. The former Soviet region not only abolished its free public health care in 2004, but it was also once again named as a chronic abuser of human rights by the United States State Department this past May.
"There's really no reason to suffer through the grave injustice of universal health care when there is such a robust sampling of countries that (are not industrialized and) will happily allow you to not experience Obamacare." Treadway said. "Granted, many have been plagued by poverty, unemployment, and civil war, but how is living in those conditions that different from life under the Obama administration? Have you seen that Rick Santorum ad? Spooky!"
Treadway notes that instead of leaving our nation and its abundance of freedoms, we have other options. We can continue to utilize our private health-care plans, as we are entitled to do, while taking pride in the fact that our country, which currently spends much more per capita on health care than any other nation in the world, has found a way to increase coverage for its citizens while reducing the deficit.
I am certainly no health policy expert. I haven't been able to determine if Obamacare will be as good as its extreme supporters claim it will be, or will be as bad as some of its overboard opponents say.
I suspect it may fall somewhere in the middle. It feel fairly certain that it won't destroy our notion of freedom. It will, I hope, make life better.
But hey, that's just my opinion. If your first, knee-jerk reaction when you heard that the high court upheld Obamacare is to pack your bags and leave, well, I wish you good luck.
Bangladesh, I hear, is lovely this time of year.