During the last half of the twentieth century, every developed country embarked on efforts to provide affordable, high-quality health care to its citizens. For both cultural and structural reasons, these efforts were especially challenging for Canada. In this essay we employ a combination of traditional rhetorical analysis and Sophistic conceptions of metis (or apate) to examine the origins of the Canadian Medicare system. We focus on the key rhetorical acts that transformed the rhetorical situations faced by policymakers and on the complex processes through which all sides maneuvered around and through the structural and ideational factors that guided and constrained their rhetoric.

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