The Canadian Waiting Room

Jun 4 2012 @ 5:44pm

While waiting at his doctor's office, Joseph Heath realized he was sitting next to Nadir Mohamed, the president and CEO of Rogers, a major communications company in Canada:

I paused for a moment to consider that he (who, according to Forbes magazine, made more than $8 million in 2010) and I (who, according to everyone, made significantly less) shared the same doctor. 

Heath's takeaway:

[A] democratic society requires certain experiences, and certain institutions, where everyone is on an equal footing and everyone is treated the same: standing in line to vote, or to get a driver’s licence, for instance. Some theorists have called these situations points of "forced solidarity." Among other things, they serve as a check on the tendency for the ultra-rich to drift off into their own little world, to insulate themselves from the travails of the ordinary person. In Canada, most of the health care system constitutes a point of forced solidarity.

I don't see why healthcare should be used for "coercive solidarity." But if the best doctors are in the public sector, you can see why this happens.