Jim Carrey doesn’t understand socialism or at least let us hope he doesn’t. Otherwise, his recent comments to Bill Maher are even more disturbing than many initially thought. The fears over socialism seemed to have died down after Bernie Sanders failed to win the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016. But unfortunately, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ securing her party’s nomination during the New York’s congressional primaries has reignited the left’s obsession with socialism.
Ocasio-Cortez’ is a self-proclaimed democratic socialist and, it would seem, that her willingness to publicly adopt this label has made others feel comfortable doing the same. As is evidenced by Carrey’s comments. But before the left starts embracing this ideology, they should look at what socialized medicine has done to Canada.
Carrey’s Public Blunder
While discussing the future of the Democratic Party with Bill Maher on an episode of his HBO series, Real Time with Bill Maher Carrey said, “We have to say yes to socialism, to the word and everything. We have to stop apologizing.” The actor continued to defend this dangerous political ideology by commenting that Republicans were merely trying to scare people by casting socialism in a negative light. He even scoffed at claims that socialism results in the same horrors currently being experienced in Venezuela and praised Canada’s use of socialized medicine.
“I grew up in Canada, okay? We have socialized medicine. I’m here to tell you that this bulls— line that you get on all of the political shows is that it is a failure; the system is a failure in Canada. It is not a failure in Canada,” Carrey said. “I never waited for anything in my life. I chose my own doctors. My mother never paid for a prescription. It was fantastic.”
But his praise for Canada did not end there. He then proceeded to say that Canadians were nice people because they had such a benevolent government that cared for them:
“They can be nice because they have health care. Because they have a government that cares about them. There are certain people in our society that need to be taken care of. There are people without as many opportunities that need to be helped toward those opportunities. There are people who are sick. You shouldn’t have to lose your home because your mother got sick.”
Anyone who knows anything about socialism and its ugly and violent history understands how ridiculous these statements truly are. While Carrey may have reconstructed fond memories of using socialized medicine in his youth, the reality of the situation is not as rosy.
Socialized Medicine Doesn’t Work
Forget, for a moment, that socialism has most certainly been the reason that Venezuela’s economy is crumbling, and let us focus primarily on Canada and its system of socialized health care.
Manhattan Institute’s David Gratzer grew up in Canada and had such high hopes for socialized medicine, he decided to become a doctor himself. But it was during his training that he began to see the murkier side of things. He recalls:
“My health-care prejudices crumbled not in the classroom but on the way to one. On a subzero Winnipeg morning in 1997, I cut across the hospital emergency room to shave a few minutes off my frigid commute. Swinging open the door, I stepped into a nightmare: the ER overflowed with elderly people on stretchers, waiting for admission. Some, it turned out, had waited five days. The air stank with sweat and urine. Right then, I began to reconsider everything that I thought I knew about Canadian health care. I soon discovered that the problems went well beyond overcrowded ERs. Patients had to wait for practically any diagnostic test or procedure, such as the man with persistent pain from a hernia operation whom we referred to a pain clinic—with a three-year wait list; or the woman needing a sleep study to diagnose what seemed like sleep apnea, who faced a two-year delay; or the woman with breast cancer who needed to wait four months for radiation therapy, when the standard of care was four weeks.”
Gratzer was so terrified by what he saw, he decided to write a book about it. But the interesting thing was, no one seemed willing to go on the record publicly criticizing the system. When a family member was diagnosed with cancer and was then told to wait for lifesaving treatment, Gratzer asked if he could document the story. The relative was so worried that the state might further penalize him for speaking out, that he demanded that his name, gender, and the town he lived in be changed. Can you imagine being so afraid of your government restricting your care that you are scared to tell your own story? This perfectly demonstrates how truly terrifying socialism can be. When the government is in charge of giving you everything, they are also able to take it all away.
Eventually, his book Code Blue was released revealing the horrors of socialized medicine in Canada. He described his work as, “My book’s thesis was simple: to contain rising costs, government-run health-care systems invariably restrict the health-care supply.” And therein lies the real reason socialized health care simply doesn’t work. But his book was not all doom and gloom. In fact, Gratzer determined that the only way to save Canada’s health care system was to move away from socialized medicine and instead adopt a market-oriented approach.
For young, healthy Carrey, the system may have worked great. But for those who are seen as being less of a priority for the state, the situation is not so great. Any system that allows the state to determine whose life is more valuable than others should be avoided at all costs. Carrey would do well to think twice before praising a socialized medicine in the future.