If you haven’t heard about the “Crack-Smoking” Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford – you’ve obviously been on a vacation in Tahiti and had no internet or television reception. The Mayor of North America’s fourth largest city has “issues.” He’s obese, has frequent stumbling bouts as a result of his drinking to excess and has, by his own admission, smoked crack cocaine.
Perhaps it’s human nature to want to make fun of people who behave badly – or at least pay attention to them. How else would Alec Baldwin stay in the news. But Mayor Ford is exceptional, even among those who behave badly and prefer to do it in public. Mayor Ford openly admitted to his indiscretions and has promised to reform his ways. In my view, while it is hard for me to imagine behaving in the way he has, I find his honesty and admission of impropriety to be extremely refreshing – and something from which all people in the limelight might well do to emulate.
I think that most of us are willing to forgive a person if he earnestly admits to having made mistakes – even big mistakes. After all, we’ve all been guilty of having committed offences in our lives. Far worse, at least to me, is the person who is caught with his hand in the cookie jar and claims that he never ate the ginger snaps.
And I guess that’s why I’m so provoked by and written so much recently about Obamacare – and the president’s refusal to admit that he knew and lied about what would transpire when the law was enacted. Even some of his fellow Democrats are now fessing up that they knew back in 2010 that millions of individual policies would be cancelled. If the rank and file in Congress and the staff of HHS knew as well, how can any reasonable person conclude that the president was unaware of what was, in essence, common knowledge?
It’s unfortunate that the councilors in Toronto do not have our same perception of the Mayor’s conditions as those of us south of their border and are stripping him of all his responsibilities. After all, he is merely suffering from several medical and perhaps psychological conditions. Under the terms of Obamacare, being a “Crack Head” or a confirmed alcoholic or a person who is obese is no reason to have an insured individual’s rates adversely affected. In fact, there is only one “addiction” that is penalized – that being for using tobacco.
I’ve been trying to figure out the logic behind this – if there is any. Sure, the tobacco user is far more likely to develop lung cancer or emphysema, conditions which are expensive to manage. But on the other hand, the tobacco user has spent thousands or perhaps tens of thousands over the years in Federal and state excise taxes to enjoy his habit before these conditions manifest themselves.
Perhaps the logic – the only scenario that I can imagine – is that the person who uses heroin or cocaine or downs a quart of alcohol a day is likely to do himself in at an early age and not prove to be a burden on the healthcare system. Or maybe this is simply a concession to the Hollywood boosters, many of whom consume excessive amounts of alcohol or use drugs that are presently illegal.
What is most interesting to me is that with both Mayor Ford and President Obama in the news, notwithstanding the fact that both of them have declined in terms of their approval ratings, the mayor of Toronto still holds a commanding eight point lead over Obama in terms of the voters’ approval. It makes me want to learn to interject “eh” into my conversation and learn to pronounce “aboot” correctly.
There’s only one drawback to wanting to move to Canada. They already have implemented a health care agenda that reflects the ultimate goal to which Obamacare is moving us. And that could explain why Canadians, when they need quality medical treatment, travel to the United States. At least for now.