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I'm an American currently living in Canada. Recently, I was talking to my husband about the shitshow that is American healthcare, and someone got to asking: how DID Canada get singlepayer passed? It's not like settlers came to the great white north, stuck a flag in the ground, and declared that every human being in this new country should have free access to a doctor. That definitely came later.
My husband didn't know. He was actually shocked that he didn't know. Well, long story short, we did a bunch of research, and here's one of the articles we came up with.
The TLDR version is that Saskatchewan implemented universal healthcare first, and the rest of the country very quickly followed suit when it saw how good universal healthcare was. But guys, getting that first province was a BITTER BATTLE. We were both stunned to find out that it's described as having nearly come to civil war over the issue. Doctors in the province went on strike for 23 days. If you do not understand the magnitude of medical professionals going on strike for 23 days, I'm going to assume that you have never had so much as a broken bone.
All of this was AFTER a government friendly to the idea was specifically elected on its platform of implementing universal healthcare.
The important takeaway here is that other countries HAVE transitioned to universal healthcare, and if the US wants to follow suit, it helps to a) know how they did it and b) be prepared for the sheer misery it will require to get it done. California IS our best bet for a tipping point, but as usual, the legislature is captured by special interests that will fight tooth and nail against the idea. The nurses' union plays the role of the doctors here, but as active as they have been, they may not yet have gone far enough, if Saskatchewan is anything to go by.
P.S. Yes, I am now covered under Canadian healthcare, and yes, it is exactly as amazing as it sounds. Anyone who says that universal healthcare is a weird unicorn pipedream is bullshitting you, because it's real, it works, and it is objectively better in every way to the shitshow that I endured while I was living in the USA.