The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T. R. Reid:
By the 1980s, tough, determined Tommy Douglas needed help from Medicare himself. At the age of seventy-four, too deaf to hear traffic noises, he walked into the street right in front of a bus; from his hospital bed, the former boxing champion conceded that he was badly injured but added, “If you think I’m in bad shape, you should see the bus.” By the time Douglas died, in 1986, his health care plan was a central and cherished aspect of Canadian life. Today, Saskatchewan’s Medicare network is supervised from the headquarters of the health ministry in Regina, an imposing edifice known as the T. C. Douglas Building. When the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation polled the nation in 2004 to choose “the greatest Canadian of all time,” Tommy Douglas won by a landslide, easily beating out the likes of Alexander Graham Bell and Wayne Gretzky.