Canadian province premier bails on single-payer system for surgery

posted at 9:25 am on February 2, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Last August, in the middle of a season of politician-roasting town halls over the government overhaul of the American health-care system, the Detroit Free Press reported that our neighbors to the north had begun contracting with American hospitals to handle overflow from their oft-praised single-payer system.  The effort by Canada attempted to legitimize a natural flow of people with means across the border to seek the immediate care that Canada’s fully-public system could not provide.  That story didn’t get too much traction in either the US or Canada, mainly due to the efforts of politicians in both countries insisting that central control of the health-care sector is necessary for reform.

However, that may change now that a prominent politician in Canada has followed the same path as many of his fellow citizens in order to save his own life:

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is set to undergo heart surgery this week in the United States.

CBC News confirmed Monday that Williams, 60, left the province earlier in the day and will have surgery later in the week.

The premier’s office provided few details, beyond confirming that he would have heart surgery and saying that it was not necessarily a routine procedure.

If an American governor had to go outside the US to seek the kind of immediate care he needed, that would be considered scandalous.  In fact, if an American governor had to leave his or her own state to seek expert care, I’d expect it to be a fairly controversial move, unless it was treatment for a rather exotic malady that perhaps only a Mayo clinic could handle.

In this case, one of the governing elite that insists on imposing a single-payer system on the rest of the country has opted out of it when the going got tough. Williams passionately defended the socialist system in Canada as recently as 2008, as Ezra Levant and Kate at Small Dead Animals note:

The motto among the statists seems to be: State-controlled access for thee, instant access for me.

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People get service in Canada, it’s just that they have to wait.

What good is that service if the wait costs you your life? Losing an uncle to cancer in Canada….he got service, after waiting about 4 months from diagnosis to start of treatment. He died about 4 months after treatment started. You can’t delay cancer treatments for 4 months and expect good outcomes. When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, from diagnosis to a treatment plan to surgery was under two weeks.

Long wait times, is not acceptable care.

evie on February 2, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Where will all the foreigners go for quality health care when we adopt Obamacare? Oh wait, I know, they will probably still be able to get that same quality care that only the elite will have, and we, the ignorant masses, will be the only ones subjected to government controlled healthcare. Same with illegal immigrants.

silvernana on February 2, 2010 at 5:28 PM

State-controlled access for thee, instant access for me.

Bang-on!

That’s the way it is here – state controlled access to health care that will have you waiting and waiting and way more waiting.

It’s really too bad we haven’t instituted a two-tier system that allows those who can well afford instant care which would go a very long way to eradicating the waiting lines for those who cannot.

The only way to acquire instant health care in this country now, is to have yourself taken to emerg in an ambulance – it really is the only way to beat the lines, everywhere – and they really are everywhere. . . .

karra on February 2, 2010 at 5:30 PM

USA has the best healthcare for the ultrarich and elite. duh.

no one ever claimed otherwise.

Palin Steele on February 2, 2010 at 5:36 PM

What is a crime is the price we have to pay here for our prescriptions, while in Canada you can get them for one-fourth the cost. We pay the high price to cover the research, etc., while foreigners get the benefit. I just purchased for the first time a prescription for my face for which hat cost over $200 in the US. My prescription I’d been using here had gone up tremendously since the last time I purchased it and decided I wouldn’t pay that much. Checked it out and was outraged. Something needs to be done about this – seems backwards to me. Let the foreigners pay more and us get the benefit of the cheaper prices.

silvernana on February 2, 2010 at 5:48 PM

USA has the best healthcare for the ultrarich and elite. duh.

no one ever claimed otherwise.

Palin Steele on February 2, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Haven’t seen your kiddie-diddling @ss at Ace. You banned yet? Cuz you will be here.

Apologetic California on February 2, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Really screwed up the previous post as I was previewing and editing. The cost of the medicine for my face in Canada was $52 and here in the US it it over $200.

silvernana on February 2, 2010 at 5:55 PM

USA has the best healthcare for the ultrarich and elite. duh.

no one ever claimed otherwise.

Palin Steele on February 2, 2010 at 5:36 PM

That’s a load. My parents who are in their sixties now have received nothing but quality health care, and they are far from rich. Your trying to peddle the idea that everyone who isn’t rich is without health care, but it just isn’t true, so why don’t you click your heels three times whenever you repeat that lie, and see if your results improve.

DFCtomm on February 2, 2010 at 6:03 PM

USA has the best healthcare for the ultrarich and elite. duh.

Palin Steele on February 2, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Didn’t matter nearly as much when the majority of us WERE ‘ultrarich’, by comparison to most of the world.

But now Joe Sixpack and Jane Homemaker are in serious financial distress, and our ideals of prosperity have mutated into having a houseful of cheap Chinese junk, especially entertainment gadgets. And add to that a refusal to temper our egalitarian goals with the reality of limited resources.

Dark-Star on February 2, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Just like many Canadian folks have duly noted in the previous comments, only a Canadian (I’m in Quebec)can fully appreciate(sic) the flaws of our healthcare system.

I am 29 years old, and I got – for the first time of my life – a family doctor. Now that I can consider myself lucky, I will have to wait another 7 months for my next appointment…

By the way: when you hear us say that 50% of our paychecks is disappearing – it isn’t a joke. This system costs us a fortune but you definitely don’t get what you pay for.

Max Snake on February 2, 2010 at 6:15 PM

USA has the best healthcare for the ultrarich and elite. duh.

no one ever claimed otherwise.

Palin Steele on February 2, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Silly spammer!

I’ll type s-l-o-w-l-y, so you can keep up.

USA has the best “health-care” system for everyone.

That is to say, the quality of care here is world class; that’s why people come from all over the world to mimic our proceedures and practices.

We have some issues with making sure it’s affordable; to that end, numerous proposals have been put forth, which would reduce costs to the employer, or end-user.

The currently proposed bills do not include these; so the bills are unpopular with the informed portion of the electorate, and the bills are rotting in the sunlight of public knowledge.

massrighty on February 2, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Geochelone on February 2, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Thanks for the information. I don’t have any problem ignoring her but you just cured my unnecessary bad habit of feeling sorry for her.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 5:06 PM

No worries Cindy. We all know you are a very compassionate soul. We would do well to have more of your kind.

I am not advocating a ban, necessarily. She does add to the fun on occasion but not without adding a share of hair ripping frustration; most of it based, so far as I am concerned, on a lack of honesty, forthrightness and an excess of platitudinal vagueness.

I just don’t want my fellow HAers to be duped.

It seems futile to debate against a blitzkrieg of deceptions but then again our glorious leader, the CIC, uses much the same tactics. How shall we endure? Your guess is as good as mine.

If HA is to ultimately segue into a mode where contributors (not on the payroll) are granted a larger role then I would imagine they would want their work to be debated and critiqued without spammers clobbering the thread into dust. Spirited debate might be their overriding concern versus raw numbers of hits; but what the hell do I know?

Geochelone on February 2, 2010 at 8:07 PM

Here in Canada, we have universal health care. Unless you can afford to go to the USA for your procedures, you have the same universally long wait for whatever you need.

Canucker on February 2, 2010 at 8:26 PM

BJ Clinton multi-millionaire Canadian girlfriend also came to the States to have her breast cancer surgery.

bayview on February 2, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Haven’t seen your kiddie-diddling @ss at Ace. You banned yet? Cuz you will be here.

Apologetic California on February 2, 2010 at 5:54 PM

While the troll you addressed is simplesimon in drag i would suggest you avoid such insults. the people who run this site don’t look to kindly at it and you may be the one banned.

CWforFreedom on February 2, 2010 at 10:05 PM

USA has the best healthcare for the ultrarich and elite. duh.

Palin Steele on February 2, 2010 at 5:36 PM

But the Canadian system is supposed to be great for all. Gee you are simple, simon.

CWforFreedom on February 2, 2010 at 10:06 PM

USA has the best healthcare for the ultrarich Unions and elite government employees; at taxpayer expense. duh.

no one ever claimed otherwise.

Palin Steele on February 2, 2010 at 5:36 PM

FIFY

TN Mom on February 2, 2010 at 10:23 PM

Geochelone on February 2, 2010 at 8:07 PM

Who are all these new people? Did I miss the open registration?

TN Mom on February 2, 2010 at 10:26 PM

USA has the best healthcare for the ultrarich and elite. duh.

no one ever claimed otherwise.

Palin Steele on February 2, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Remember MRI’s? Every thing that starts being “for the rich” turns into “for the masses”. If obamacare passes, with its Cadillac taxes on any medical device not “for the masses” — and even a few which are (such as pacemakers) — we will be in a world of hurt as the supposedly “rich” customers are priced out of the innovation marketplace. Where did the people who invented and improved the MRI scanners get their seed money? Certainly not from the Government!

Making everyone equally poor is not the way to go.

unclesmrgol on February 2, 2010 at 11:03 PM

USA has the best healthcare for the ultrarich and elite. duh.

no one ever claimed otherwise.

Palin Steele on February 2, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Maybe it is time for you to get off your ass and make something of yourself so that you can afford the level of health care you are so envious about.

bayview on February 2, 2010 at 11:30 PM

Saw that people were touting Mexico???!! for dental work.

Google Sexton Dental Clinic in Florence S.C. Awesome! The best work and best prices in USA.

katy the mean old lady on February 2, 2010 at 11:37 PM

So, a rich millionaire decides to go south and pay lots and lots and lots of money for a procedure instead of waiting up here for his turn?

Who gives a sh*t.

The severity of his condition is not noted so nobody knpws where in the line he would be – serious/not so serious. He’s rich, so he’s willing to spend the dough to get treated right away.

This situation has nothing whatsofu*king ever to do with however million Americans there are who don’t have health insurance.

Dave Rywall on February 3, 2010 at 5:10 PM

So, a rich millionaire decides to go south and pay lots and lots and lots of money for a procedure instead of waiting up here for his turn?

Hey genius, he’s getting a medical procedure, not buying an Ipod. Those kind of have an urgency to them.

Dark-Star on February 3, 2010 at 5:40 PM

I’ll just wait here until Dark-Star proves William’s condition was urgent.

Waiting…

Waiting…

Dave Rywall on February 3, 2010 at 7:24 PM

I’ll just wait here until Dark-Star proves William’s condition was urgent.

Waiting…

Waiting…

Dave Rywall on February 3, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Are you still waiting?

mycowardice on February 4, 2010 at 12:46 AM

This situation has nothing whatsofu*king ever to do with however million Americans there are who don’t have health insurance.

Dave Rywall on February 3, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Umm, it has to do with the fact that the leftists keep telling us that our health care won’t become rationed if we enact Obamacare. Who keep telling us the gov’t won’t be maknig decisions on who gets what and when. Who keep telling us that our current health care will remain exactly the same, quality and quantity won’t be effected.

As you seem to be admitting – that is all b.s. When you socialize health care, everything has to be rationed. And, it becomes the Gov’t who does the rationing. And, be definition, that will mean the gov’t gets to decide who gets what treatments, how long they have to wait to get the treatments, etc.

That is what we have been arguing all along. And this example proves it. You are right, the very wealth will always be able to skip the line, either by travelling to another country or by getting gov’t to move them up in line. But, that is the whole point. the rest of us that are going to be captured by Obamacare will become gov’t slaves. the gov’t will control our very well being.

The left has been lying since day one claiming that the gov’t can take over healthcare, give free health insurance to the alleged millions that don’t have it, and not change the rest of the people’s level or quantity of care, or the costs of care. It is stories like this that demonstrate, quite conclusively, that those claims have always been lies.

And once the gov’t is in controll of health care, there is nothing that they won’t seek to regulate, all in the guise of keeping health-care costs down. Fatty foods, sugary foods will be the first thing. but, what about voluntary dangerous activities – motorcycle riding, rock climbing, skiing? anything that causes injury or health risk will become fair game for the gov’t to control in an effort to “keep health-care costs down.”

Monkeytoe on February 4, 2010 at 8:20 AM

As great minds have taught U.S. that all of the social programs the liberal mind creates to maintain control over U.S. to not apply specifically to them when they are faced with a life/death situation.

Also, this may be one of the most important cracks in the system that our Representatives are trying to shove down out throats.

MSGTAS on February 4, 2010 at 10:00 AM

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