Talking to real Americans about health care

News Oct 15, 2009 Ancaster News

I just returned from a week-long vacation in Orlando, Florida. The temperature was 95 degrees Fahrenheit, or 35 degrees Celsius every day. I can’t remember the last time it got that hot here in Hamilton.

With a baby expected in December, this was likely the last time my wife and I will have an opportunity to travel any significant distance for at least a few years.

I suspect the next time I’m in Orlando, I will probably be spending more time at Disney World than on the golf courses.

(If you are a golfer and are headed to Central Florida anytime soon, you have to check out Deer Island Country Club. Well worth the 45 minute drive north from Orlando.)

When I wasn’t shanking Pro V1s into the water, I was shopping with my wife. So many great deals, so little time.

But what caught my attention on these little junkets to the outlet malls was how many times I was asked about health care in Canada.

The people asking the questions were typically lower income Americans, working as retail clerks, restaurant staff or resort employees.

As Canadians, we tend to generalize that all Americans believe we have some kind of crazy socialist health-care system that is inferior to the U. S. system.

Such is not the case among average Americans, who don’t earn enough to afford premium health-care coverage.

I’ve always known Florida as right-wing country, but the 2008 presidential elections saw the Sunshine State go to the Democrats.

When people found out I was Canadian, the first thing they asked was about our health-care system.

“Don’t believe what you are hearing from the lobby groups that criticize Canada’s health-care system,” I told one man working at a Bealls Outlet store.

“I don’t,” he responded. “We need a system like yours. Hopefully President Obama will succeed in his plans to reform our system.”

I can only imagine this man makes little more than minimum wage, and having access to publically funded health care would likely make a tremendous difference in his life.

I may have to take a trip to the doctors this week, as I am suffering from post-vacation disorder.

Photo Contest

We recently conducted a contest to find a cover shot for our upcoming Hamilton Community Guide. And what a response we received!

This annual publication is an excellent resource for upcoming events and attractions, Hamilton landmarks, city information, political contacts, health news, entertainment listings, advertising and much more. I hope you keep it in your home throughout 2009/10.

We received well over 300 photographs taken by our readers, and picking an eventual winner was extremely tough.

First off, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to email, mail or drop off their prize photos.

We will be putting together a multimedia slideshow in the next week to show off the great snapshots of our beautiful community. It will be available on any of our community newspaper websites.

With all contests there must be a winner. Taking first place, and gracing the cover of our Hamilton Community Guide, is Malcolm Querney, a resident of Hamilton Mountain.

We also used some secondary images on the cover, taken by Patricia Ann Brown, Dave McCollow and Dan Whalen.

Inside the guide you will also find other images that were sent in, and each photographer received a photo credit.

The Hamilton Community Guide will come to your home at the end of October.

Talking to real Americans about health care

News Oct 15, 2009 Ancaster News

I just returned from a week-long vacation in Orlando, Florida. The temperature was 95 degrees Fahrenheit, or 35 degrees Celsius every day. I can’t remember the last time it got that hot here in Hamilton.

With a baby expected in December, this was likely the last time my wife and I will have an opportunity to travel any significant distance for at least a few years.

I suspect the next time I’m in Orlando, I will probably be spending more time at Disney World than on the golf courses.

(If you are a golfer and are headed to Central Florida anytime soon, you have to check out Deer Island Country Club. Well worth the 45 minute drive north from Orlando.)

When I wasn’t shanking Pro V1s into the water, I was shopping with my wife. So many great deals, so little time.

But what caught my attention on these little junkets to the outlet malls was how many times I was asked about health care in Canada.

The people asking the questions were typically lower income Americans, working as retail clerks, restaurant staff or resort employees.

As Canadians, we tend to generalize that all Americans believe we have some kind of crazy socialist health-care system that is inferior to the U. S. system.

Such is not the case among average Americans, who don’t earn enough to afford premium health-care coverage.

I’ve always known Florida as right-wing country, but the 2008 presidential elections saw the Sunshine State go to the Democrats.

When people found out I was Canadian, the first thing they asked was about our health-care system.

“Don’t believe what you are hearing from the lobby groups that criticize Canada’s health-care system,” I told one man working at a Bealls Outlet store.

“I don’t,” he responded. “We need a system like yours. Hopefully President Obama will succeed in his plans to reform our system.”

I can only imagine this man makes little more than minimum wage, and having access to publically funded health care would likely make a tremendous difference in his life.

I may have to take a trip to the doctors this week, as I am suffering from post-vacation disorder.

Photo Contest

We recently conducted a contest to find a cover shot for our upcoming Hamilton Community Guide. And what a response we received!

This annual publication is an excellent resource for upcoming events and attractions, Hamilton landmarks, city information, political contacts, health news, entertainment listings, advertising and much more. I hope you keep it in your home throughout 2009/10.

We received well over 300 photographs taken by our readers, and picking an eventual winner was extremely tough.

First off, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to email, mail or drop off their prize photos.

We will be putting together a multimedia slideshow in the next week to show off the great snapshots of our beautiful community. It will be available on any of our community newspaper websites.

With all contests there must be a winner. Taking first place, and gracing the cover of our Hamilton Community Guide, is Malcolm Querney, a resident of Hamilton Mountain.

We also used some secondary images on the cover, taken by Patricia Ann Brown, Dave McCollow and Dan Whalen.

Inside the guide you will also find other images that were sent in, and each photographer received a photo credit.

The Hamilton Community Guide will come to your home at the end of October.

Talking to real Americans about health care

News Oct 15, 2009 Ancaster News

I just returned from a week-long vacation in Orlando, Florida. The temperature was 95 degrees Fahrenheit, or 35 degrees Celsius every day. I can’t remember the last time it got that hot here in Hamilton.

With a baby expected in December, this was likely the last time my wife and I will have an opportunity to travel any significant distance for at least a few years.

I suspect the next time I’m in Orlando, I will probably be spending more time at Disney World than on the golf courses.

(If you are a golfer and are headed to Central Florida anytime soon, you have to check out Deer Island Country Club. Well worth the 45 minute drive north from Orlando.)

When I wasn’t shanking Pro V1s into the water, I was shopping with my wife. So many great deals, so little time.

But what caught my attention on these little junkets to the outlet malls was how many times I was asked about health care in Canada.

The people asking the questions were typically lower income Americans, working as retail clerks, restaurant staff or resort employees.

As Canadians, we tend to generalize that all Americans believe we have some kind of crazy socialist health-care system that is inferior to the U. S. system.

Such is not the case among average Americans, who don’t earn enough to afford premium health-care coverage.

I’ve always known Florida as right-wing country, but the 2008 presidential elections saw the Sunshine State go to the Democrats.

When people found out I was Canadian, the first thing they asked was about our health-care system.

“Don’t believe what you are hearing from the lobby groups that criticize Canada’s health-care system,” I told one man working at a Bealls Outlet store.

“I don’t,” he responded. “We need a system like yours. Hopefully President Obama will succeed in his plans to reform our system.”

I can only imagine this man makes little more than minimum wage, and having access to publically funded health care would likely make a tremendous difference in his life.

I may have to take a trip to the doctors this week, as I am suffering from post-vacation disorder.

Photo Contest

We recently conducted a contest to find a cover shot for our upcoming Hamilton Community Guide. And what a response we received!

This annual publication is an excellent resource for upcoming events and attractions, Hamilton landmarks, city information, political contacts, health news, entertainment listings, advertising and much more. I hope you keep it in your home throughout 2009/10.

We received well over 300 photographs taken by our readers, and picking an eventual winner was extremely tough.

First off, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to email, mail or drop off their prize photos.

We will be putting together a multimedia slideshow in the next week to show off the great snapshots of our beautiful community. It will be available on any of our community newspaper websites.

With all contests there must be a winner. Taking first place, and gracing the cover of our Hamilton Community Guide, is Malcolm Querney, a resident of Hamilton Mountain.

We also used some secondary images on the cover, taken by Patricia Ann Brown, Dave McCollow and Dan Whalen.

Inside the guide you will also find other images that were sent in, and each photographer received a photo credit.

The Hamilton Community Guide will come to your home at the end of October.