New site design still in progress, but I wanted to get this down before I forgot about it.

Cisco is running a lot of ads during the NCAA basketball tournament, so I've seen the one with Ellen Page visiting her old doctor probably a dozen times in the last week and a half. Something finally occurred to me about it -- it's the best ad narrative ever for socialized medicine.

Now, obviously it's just as much a fictional narrative as that you'll find in any other product ad. But it's worth thinking about that narrative. Ellen Page, newly minted movie star, returns to her small hometown in Nova Scotia, Canada. For some reason, she decides to pay a social call to her doctor while she's there, suggesting that Canada's socialized medical system has allowed her to receive service from a doctor she knows and trusts. But the doctor's not there, he's in Denmark, but still seeing patients using Cisco's cutting-edge medical teleconferencing device. That's right, socialized medicine has so crippled Canada's economy that small-town doctors are able to use what must be a ridiculously expensive piece of equipment to treat patients while in another continent. The poor Canadians are so wiped out, in fact, that another ad shows that their schools are also able to make this kind of massive financial outlay (to communicate with Chinese students who go to school in the middle of the night, apparently).

Cisco has broken with the US Chamber of Commerce over its position on climate change, and I wonder if this is a sly signal that not quite on the corporate line over health care, either; I doubt it. Nevertheless, it's nice to know that American audiences are being hit with this subtle reminder of the Canadian health system's awesomeness on such a regular basis.

Posted by Aaron S. Veenstra ::: 2010:03:28:15:31