Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Cross Border Flu Profiteering

48°42' North; 123°19' West

Somehow, I don't think that this is what Tommy Douglas had in mind:
The Victoria Clipper is now offering flu shots for their passengers. This service costs $105 per person and includes:
· 1 round-trip cruise to Victoria
· 1 flu vaccine.
The vaccine will be given to Victoria Clipper passengers at the Belleville Terminal in Victoria once the passenger has been cleared by Canada Customs and Immigration.

Apparently, for the well-heeled at least,it's a great deal at twice the price:
.....Ed and Patty Dunn, both in their 70s, couldn't get flu shots from their usual clinic in Seattle.

The Dunns took the boat for the fun - and the flu shots. Patty Dunn added that she would lunch at Il Terrazzo, an upscale Italian restaurant in Victoria.

"We're boaters in our own right," Ed Dunn said. The couple takes their 52-foot power boat across the rough waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca often, so they're not bothered by the ironic twist to the flu cruise: passengers on the Clipper sometimes get seasick.....

But what about the folks that can't afford a '3 hr cruise', people like Vera Uhl:
...Verna Uhl, 68, lives in a senior mobile home park in Mountlake Terrace. She recently paid $359 for car repairs and won't be going to Canada for a flu shot, by land or by sea.

"I've decided if I get the flu, I get the flu," she said.

Going on the Clipper is just too expensive, she told The Herald of Everett. "Most people I know are in the same condition I am financially."...

Listen. For any of our American friends that live close to the border, just drive across and head for a walk-in clinic (we have them everywhere in our universal system...ironic huh). In most places you'll be able to get the vaccine for ~$30CDN which is still only about $25US, although that exchange rate is rising fast in our favour now that your man, Alan Greenspan, has decided to try and narrow the trade deficit by crushing your dollar.

And for those outside easy driving/bus distance, well, maybe we can convince Medicins sans Frontieres to send teams into the deep south to immunize the poor, the sick and the infirm.

Oh, wait a second.....that would be a public health initiative, and that's socialism, right.

What the heck was I thinking.

And besides, aren't those Frontieres guys French?

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