Canada and England are two of America’s closest allies and share a principle of governance very similar to our own. So, why do we have such a different healthcare systems?

Before anyone starts shouting, “Because we’re not socialists,” ask yourself, ‘Why do we have free public schools?’ Does the 42 cents cost of a stamp really cover the cost of sending a letter to your kid or parent living across the country? Isn’t healthcare as important as providing a good basic education or mailing a letter? 

Unions negotiate the payment of healthcare premiums for their members who work for signatory contractors as part of their compensation, which the contractor has to cover in the price of their bids. Some non-union employers provide coverage for their key employees but even then there is usually co-pay that needs to be met if the employee wants their spouse and children covered. But most of the time, non-union workers don’t get anything for healthcare from their bosses and they have to rely on either the wife getting benefits with her job or using the local emergency room and welfare to cover their medical bills.

So, if a union contractor pays the full premium to cover their employees, who picks up the medical costs for anyone else that isn’t fortunate enough to have union medical coverage? We all do, that’s who, So my question is, wouldn’t a national healthcare plan like the ones in Canada and England legitimize what we are already funding with Medicaid, and help level the playing field in the construction industry while at the same time providing quality medical care for all, rich or poor, union or non-union?