Congratulations, Canada… Til next time…

Among the many who were transfixed by the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, I even took in the cheesy features celebrating Canadian culture.

Given the debate about health reform here in the states, there is some synergy in having the premier event focused on fitness spotlighted Canada, with their heralded single-payer health system.

The USA-Canada hockey game today, decided in sudden overtime after a literally last-minute goal in regulation time, was amazing. On Twitter, it was also a time for North American trash-talking.

Canadians made their evident pride show, not just about their hockey, but for their health system. An example: “I can’t hear you over my free health care.” Many American Twitterers were willing to take the Canadian health system, as either the victor’s spoils or a consolation prize.

Congratulations to Canada on their win, and to the underdog U.S. team for winning silver and making it a thrilling game. There will be a rematch in four years, in 2014. Coincidentally, that’s when the major health coverage expansions are scheduled to take place in the pending federal health reforms. It’s a pretty different, uniquely American reform, but it does bring us closer to Canada in dramatically reducing the number of those who find themselves without coverage.

Hopefully, any 2014 rematch of this great Canada-USA hockey game won’t feature jibes about our number of uninsured. Hopefully, that rematch will feature *both* countries with near-universal health care.

We’ll know soon.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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