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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As a Canadian, he will get better treatment than many Americans who will not be able to afford the same treatment.

Think about that for a second.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:06 AM

What color is the sky in this fantasy world of yours?

The premier will get the same treatment I would get if I walked into any Ehospital in the country. Or you. Or Ed. Or Jose “I don’t have insurance but the law says you have to treat me nonetheless” Illegal.

Think about that for a second.

angryed on February 2, 2010 at 10:19 AM

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

FIFY.

BuckeyeSam on February 2, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Ugh.

but not for me.

BuckeyeSam on February 2, 2010 at 10:20 AM

So if the governor of Florida says that his state is the best for vacations yet choses to go to Tahiti for his vacation, he is being hypocritical?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:18 AM

I believe that if the gov of Florida says that and then goes to Tahiti, they are either

1) Settling for something below first place

or

2) Lying through their teeth.

MeatHeadinCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:21 AM

You need to ask all the cardiac patients in Canada on waiting lists. At least, the ones that are still alive.

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Right after you ask all the people that have file for bankrupcy or that couldn’t pay for Medical treatment how they feel.

Seriously, China buys pieces of the US left and right, Canadians get better treatment than many Americans, and no one is bothered. Why not just put a big “Sale!” sign at the front door and move on?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:11 AM

So it’s “better” to die waiting for treatment than it is to go broke getting it? I guess it’s better because if the dead ones could have just held on, they would eventually have gotten the care they needed? The fact that they didn’t and they’re dead is irrelevant in that context?

Interesting that you put money over life. I thought that was supposed to be the evil Republicans’ stick.

What about the people who lose their jobs and even their ability to work while waiting for treatment? Does that count as a financial burden?

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:21 AM

This is yet another story which misses the point about the problem with healthcare. The issue has never been if rich people like Rush Ted Kennedy or connected people can get stellar treatment. The issue is if the health care system serves the need of the population as a whole.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:00 AM

“The issue is if the health care system serves the need of the population as a whole.” Funny–that is the issue ObamaCare is least concerned about…

lovingmyUSA on February 2, 2010 at 10:21 AM

I’ll see if I can find something to link to — I live in Ontario, and am familiar with the provincial system.

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Like this?

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/28/international/americas/28canada.html

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:21 AM

I spent a summer between graduate degrees in Mexico City participating in their government’s program in my field. There were many Mexican dental students whom I met, doing pro-bono work that summer in the world’s largest city before returning north of the border to their dental schools IN THE USA.

The stories I’ve followed of Americans going to Mexico for medical work involves US doctors working in Mexico where the insurance industry has not yet made medical treatments outrageously too expensive and unaffordable, so as to force everyone into their racket.

There are also many stories of Americans retiring in Mexico in ex-patriot locales. But the violence from the drug trade is too real to ignore, especially because it is illegal to bear arms in Mexico. So American communities in Mexico, such as COLONIA LeBARON in the foothills of Chihuahua’s Sierra Tarahumara, suffer many brutal murders and rapes and kidnapping with no governmental help from law enforcement or judicial prosecution of the terrorists by the Mexican authorities, only hollow advice.

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Ann, since you’re leaving (you did say you were leaving, right?), why don’t you go spend a few years living in a country with a nationalized healthcare system like some of us have, then come back and tell us how you like it?

DarkCurrent on February 2, 2010 at 10:22 AM

The libs motto:

Fac quod dico, non quod facio

(“Do as I say not as I do”)

Christian Conservative on February 2, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Some people buy Ferraris, but that doesn’t mean there is no room for a Honda or a Ford. Doesn’t mean that if the Premier buys a Ferrari made in Italy that the Toyota plant in Ontario doesn’t serve a purpose.

This guy can afford to skip the line. He chose to go to the US to skip the line.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:09 AM

You make our point exactly! In the US there are Ferraris and Hondas and Fords and Tototas of health care. In Canada there are only Toyotas with sticky pedals.

So you want to take from away from the entire world the Ferraris and leave only the Toyotas with sticky pedals. Because that seems fairer to you.

We all have to die rather than some people get to drive Ferraris.

Typical Communist thought. Everyone should be downtrodden so nobody gets jealous.

petunia on February 2, 2010 at 10:23 AM

This is the equivalent of the CEO of GM buying a Honda and then coming back to work the next day saying how GM makes the best cars in the world. Only an imbecile liberal would believe what he says.

angryed on February 2, 2010 at 10:23 AM

This is the equivalent of the CEO of GM buying a Honda and then coming back to work the next day saying how GM makes the best cars in the world. Only an imbecile liberal would believe what he says.

angryed on February 2, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Ann, since you’re leaving (you did say you were leaving, right?),

No, not really. I suggested that driving out moderates was a mistake.

Somehow that morphed into ad hominem attacks daily about leaving.

I was, as usual, speaking politically. You really don’t want to drive away Independents if you want to win elections.

But, hey….that’s just my 2 cents.

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:26 AM

tjexcite on February 2, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Ok here’s one from Hamilton which is located in Canada’s “Golden Horseshoe” region. One of the most populated and prosperous regions in Canada.

A critically ill Hamilton preemie turned away from McMaster Children’s Hospital is all alone in a Buffalo intensive care unit because her parents don’t have passports to get across the border.

Hamilton’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) was full when Ava Isabella Stinson was born 14 weeks premature at St. Joseph’s Hospital Thursday at 12:24 p.m.

Notice how the newspaper blames the evil Americna customs and immigration process and not the fact that there’s not ONE neonatal intensive care bed available in the Toronto-Hamilton region.

Caper29 on February 2, 2010 at 10:26 AM

DarkCurrent on February 2, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Why? Many of us who live in the US really like our health care. Apparently, Mr. Williams lives in Canada and also really likes our health care.

ROCnPhilly on February 2, 2010 at 10:27 AM

O Canada! O Canada! Send us your sick, your lame—for we shall care for them with our capitalist pig system which you denigrate, yet desire when the going gets tough.

Yep, we’re ugly Americans until you fother muckers need our help, then you knock on the door and ask us to let your a$$es in for some help.

Tell you what, renounce both your current medical system and the proposed system here in the US and we’ll consider allowing you guys to continue crossing the border for help in our hospitals that our supposed citizens are supposedly denied access to.

Socialism epic fail writ large.

ted c on February 2, 2010 at 10:27 AM

The dirty secret in Canada is that you can get moved up on the “waiting list” by who you know.

Caper29 on February 2, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Is there any doubt about it becoming the same way here?

Worse yet, Obamatards will write favoritism into the health care system by regulations, if not by legislation. We can expect rationing on the basis not only of actuarial stats, but also on the basis of our membership in one of the left’s favored identity groups. May sound odious, but I’m banking on it.

petefrt on February 2, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Ah, the irony. Too bad it wasn’t Iggy or Smilin’ Jack though, that would have been hilarious. Sure socialized medicine works as long as you have connections or are one of the special people like politicians or professional athletes. The fantasy that everybody has and deserves equal access no matter how bad their personal choices have been is bankrupting us and until we wrap our heads around the fact that some are indeed more equal than others it’s only going to get worse.

G-man on February 2, 2010 at 10:28 AM

You really don’t want to drive away Independents if you want to win elections.

But, hey….that’s just my 2 cents.

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:26 AM

shh… a democrat might hear you.

ted c on February 2, 2010 at 10:28 AM

The stories I’ve followed of Americans going to Mexico for medical work involves US doctors working in Mexico where the insurance industry has not yet made medical treatments outrageously too expensive and unaffordable, so as to force everyone into their racket.

That sounds real. I think part of the problem, too, is the limit on medical enrollments. A lot of students are going to other countries for medical credentials.

And the reputation is far better than in the past.

It’s probably, as some have pointed out, a unique window of solution for some middle-class patients in the US. But at least, it’s a window.

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Really? Any luck you can give us a source for that claim?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Oh fer cryin’ out loud. YES it is true. Try this.

Note that this excludes the many things that are not covered by the government systems (in Ontario that includes eye exams by optometrists, dental care, physiotherapy, and prescription medications).

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Typical Communist thought. Everyone should be downtrodden so nobody gets jealous.

petunia on February 2, 2010 at 10:23 AM

That is the same vibe I get from everyone here defending Obamacare. You just say it way better than I can. The only argument they can make is class-warfare.

Mord on February 2, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Like this?

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/28/international/americas/28canada.html

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Thanks! The articles says Canada’s the only country to not allow private payment for medical services — I don’t think that’s correct, but you get the point. Did you also see that 1.4 MILLION people in Ontario alone are without doctors?

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Well, I guess we could create great medical school programs like the military, where Ft. Hood shooter got passed along. *haha

OK, I’m O/T. LOL*

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:30 AM

If he loves state-run health care so much, he should get in line with everybody else.

hawksruleva on February 2, 2010 at 10:31 AM

So if the governor of Florida says that his state is the best for vacations yet choses to go to Tahiti for his vacation, he is being hypocritical?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Is there a law that says citizens of Florida can’t pay for their own vacations and choose their own vacation time?
Is there a Florida vacation waiting list?

Caper29 on February 2, 2010 at 10:31 AM

So if the governor of Florida says that his state is the best for vacations yet choses to go to Tahiti for his vacation, he is being hypocritical?

A system can be great in the aggregate, yet not be the best for a particular individual. So in his case, because he can afford it, he gets to pick the better system for his situation. You use this one data point to paint the whole system with a nasty brush.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Is there a law in Florida that requires everyone to pay for vacations in Florida through taxation, and then makes it illegal for them to pay extra for a better (or more timely) vacation in Florida if that’s what they want or need?

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:32 AM

No, not really. I suggested that driving out moderates was a mistake.

Somehow that morphed into ad hominem attacks daily about leaving.

I was, as usual, speaking politically. You really don’t want to drive away Independents if you want to win elections.

But, hey….that’s just my 2 cents.

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:26 AM

No, you said you were exiting and we all had our hopes up. See AnninCA at 11:54 AM:

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/29/homeland-security-chief-skipped-eunuchbomber-review-shows-up-for-sotu/comment-page-1/#comments.

Also, no one appointed you the spokesperson for independents. You’re just a boring concern troll.

DarkCurrent on February 2, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Is there a law in Florida that requires everyone to pay for vacations in Florida through taxation…

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Oh, don’t even bring that up… Wasn’t that in the Porkulus or at least suggested?

MeatHeadinCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:33 AM

This is yet another story which misses the point about the problem with healthcare. The issue has never been if rich people like Rush Ted Kennedy or connected people can get stellar treatment. The issue is if the health care system serves the need of the population as a whole.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:00 AM

You’re the one who doesn’t get it. The health care system serves 80% just fine. The average Joe can expect to get the same treatment as the premier got. My father had heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic, which is where this guy probably went, and just as quick. Under Obamacare 75% of that 80% will be receiving the quality of care that is present in Canada. The place the premier didn’t go for his care.
I’m all for taking steps to see that the 20% that isn’t covered has the opportunity to get coverage, but not at the expense of the 80% that has coverage.

DFCtomm on February 2, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Why? Many of us who live in the US really like our health care. Apparently, Mr. Williams lives in Canada and also really likes our health care.

ROCnPhilly on February 2, 2010 at 10:27 AM

I live in China and I really like US health care too. I’m just suggesting that Ann go out in the world and experience how other countries health systems compare.

DarkCurrent on February 2, 2010 at 10:34 AM

The fantasy that everybody has and deserves equal access no matter how bad their personal choices have been is bankrupting us and until we wrap our heads around the fact that some are indeed more equal than others it’s only going to get worse.

G-man on February 2, 2010 at 10:28 AM

I wonder. Maybe the point is that not everyone deserves access? It’s clear that government-run health care will have fewer treatment options. Maybe to Progressives, that’s just one more way to whittle down the masses that are putting such a burden on an otherwise perfect system.

Why do I suddenly feel the urge to eat some peanut M&Ms?

hawksruleva on February 2, 2010 at 10:34 AM

shh… a democrat might hear you.

ted c on February 2, 2010 at 10:28 AM

LOL! Rim-shot!

Mord on February 2, 2010 at 10:34 AM

No, not really. I suggested that driving out moderates was a mistake.

Somehow that morphed into ad hominem attacks daily about leaving.

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:26 AM

No you got all worked up on the Janet Nap story before you even read it and you thought everyone was making fun because she was sleeping during SOTU. You said if that was what this blog thinks was an important story you were going to leave permanently.

Johnnyreb on February 2, 2010 at 10:34 AM

1) Settling for something below first place

or

2) Lying through their teeth.

MeatHeadinCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Given how controversial he’s become in the last year, I can see how he might want to vacation in a place where he won’t have to face protestors while sunning at the pool.

MarkTheGreat on February 2, 2010 at 10:35 AM

*boring* Move on trolls about Ann.

We were having a good discussion.

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Well, I guess we could create great medical school programs like the military, where Ft. Hood shooter got passed along. *haha

OK, I’m O/T. LOL*

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:30 AM

You deserve to get banned for that IMO. Laughing about that is not cool at all, I’m so pissed I can barely type.

Mord on February 2, 2010 at 10:36 AM

So if the governor of Florida says that his state is the best for vacations yet choses to go to Tahiti for his vacation, he is being hypocritical?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Has he ever vacationed in Florida? If the Premiere has heart surgery every year, and is just trying something different, I’d say your analogy is accurate. Otherwise, it’s not the same at all. At any rate, it is a little hypocritical to go to Tahiti if you’re promoting Florida vacations. I wouldn’t do it until I left office.

hawksruleva on February 2, 2010 at 10:37 AM

O Canada! O Canada! Send us your sick, your lame—for we shall care for them with our capitalist pig system which you denigrate, yet desire when the going gets tough.

Yep, we’re ugly Americans until you fother muckers need our help, then you knock on the door and ask us to let your a$$es in for some help.

Tell you what, renounce both your current medical system and the proposed system here in the US and we’ll consider allowing you guys to continue crossing the border for help in our hospitals that our supposed citizens are supposedly denied access to.

Socialism epic fail writ large.

ted c on February 2, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Hey Ted, there a number of Canadians on your side here. So take your futhermucking slams against everyone Canadian and shove ‘em hard until they’re coming out your mouth.

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:37 AM

“We will always have our dachas.”

SurferDoc on February 2, 2010 at 10:37 AM

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Yes, Independents…especially ones that wasnt to enslave the entire populace to a health care system that the plurality do not want, but will be jailed for not ‘opting into’.

You are a d.o.p.e.

daesleeper on February 2, 2010 at 10:38 AM

So if the governor of Florida says that his state is the best for vacations yet choses to go to Tahiti for his vacation, he is being hypocritical?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Is staying home considered a vacation? Why are you so defensive? Let this poor man get the help he needs and all we ask in return is to stop slamming us. Geesh!.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 10:38 AM

The premier will get the same treatment I would get if I walked into any Ehospital in the country. Or you. Or Ed. Or Jose “I don’t have insurance but the law says you have to treat me nonetheless” Illegal.

Think about that for a second.

angryed on February 2, 2010 at 10:19 AM

I don’t think so. Payment will be part of the discussion, and I bet you that he is going somewhere where being able to afford it is a requirement. He isn’t walking in an emergency room.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Whom you learn from matters as much as how you learn. US medical schools are the finest in the world, which is why foreign students stop at nothing to study here.

I want my doctors and nurses trained in the US and working in facilities that hold the highest standards of cleanliness. That only amounts to the hygiene standard practiced by every hospital/clinic employee, emphatically including the cafeteria, laundry and housecleaning staff. Infection is always rampant, even in US hospitals where the worst viruses and bacteria thrive having evolved to survive the world’s most advanced medications and cleansers.

Statistically, the oldest people in the world share one thing in common; they always avoided going to the doctor.

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Oh fer cryin’ out loud. YES it is true. Try this

.

Thanks for the back-up, and this article mentions North Korea and Cuba.

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM

I bet you that he is going somewhere where being able to afford it is a requirement.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM

What a novel idea…

MeatHeadinCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Some animals are more equal than others.

GarandFan on February 2, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Mord on February 2, 2010 at 9:47 AM

A fine thought in principal, but whining Danny is one of the wealthiest men in the country.

And for those talking about irony? The name of the political party he leads?

Progressive Conservatives…….

Jim708 on February 2, 2010 at 10:42 AM

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:37 AM

ok

ted c on February 2, 2010 at 10:42 AM

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:29 AM
Oh fer cryin’ out loud. YES it is true. Try this
.

Thanks for the back-up, and this article mentions North Korea and Cuba.

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM

We’re in great company, eh?

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:43 AM

But if you’re a slut/douchebag and can’t keep your pants on, no worries, I’m pretty sure it covers birth control.

Darth Executor on February 2, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Actually it doesn’t. No medication (including birth control) is covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). No dental expenses are covered, and OHIP will only pay for an eye checkup once every two years I think. (my glasses and contact lenses are all out of pocket).

But if you need to get a broken arm set or a nasty cough checked out, you’re good!

And please stop dissing Canadians – insult the Newfies if you must since they’re the ones who elected this guy!

CityFish on February 2, 2010 at 10:44 AM

The Canadian province premier can always spin his tale, saving his taxpayers the expense of his medical treatment.

Though it is illegal to pay out of pocket for medical treatment in Canada, is it illegal in Canada to leave Canada for medical treatment abroad?

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 10:44 AM

I live in Canada and I need a ultrasound examination. I booked the exam one week ago and I can’t get it done until April 9th. And for that privilege, I pay 50% of my salary in income & sales taxes. I pay for vision care, drugs and dental care insurance on top of that. That’s how it is.

Sounder on February 2, 2010 at 10:45 AM

You are a d.o.p.e.

daesleeper on February 2, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Imagine a magazine or newspaper publisher allowing its edition to go out to subscribers with a big turd on every other page.

“Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

JiangxiDad on February 2, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Has he ever vacationed in Florida? If the Premiere has heart surgery every year, and is just trying something different, I’d say your analogy is accurate. Otherwise, it’s not the same at all. At any rate, it is a little hypocritical to go to Tahiti if you’re promoting Florida vacations. I wouldn’t do it until I left office.

hawksruleva on February 2, 2010 at 10:37 AM

It’s hypocritical only if you prefer form over substance. Florida is a terrific place to go on vacation, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only place you should go to.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:46 AM

We’re in great company, eh?

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Apparently ‘mycowardice’ thinks so.

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Though it is illegal to pay out of pocket for medical treatment in Canada, is it illegal in Canada to leave Canada for medical treatment abroad?

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 10:44 AM

No it’s not illegal, and an insurance industry has even sprang up to supply wait list insurance. As soon as the socialist health care system in Canada puts them on a wait list the insurance kicks in and they’re headed to the good ol’ USA.

DFCtomm on February 2, 2010 at 10:47 AM

my apologies to any canadians, miao- i’ll wear cone of shame x 1 hr.

ted c on February 2, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Sounder on February 2, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Curious if you also pay a mandatory SS/retirement tax. I ask because if you add our mandatory SS and Medicare tax to our income tax rates, most of us are over 50% and have been forever. Since that SS and Medicare are never going to be available to future generations, you may be surprised to find you’ve been getting a bargain.

JiangxiDad on February 2, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Florida is a terrific place to go on vacation, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only place you should go to.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Your attempt at a point was along the lines of the honesty of a Florida governor, NOT your personal views about Florida as a vacation destination.

MeatHeadinCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:48 AM

No, not really. I suggested that driving out moderates was a mistake.

Somehow that morphed into ad hominem attacks daily about leaving.

I was, as usual, speaking politically. You really don’t want to drive away Independents if you want to win elections.

But, hey….that’s just my 2 cents.

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Ann, pardon me for denying you the Alinsky tactic of unilaterally defining the terms of the debate, but I must insist: We are the moderates. Those in Washington and the statist media are the radicals. As are their apologists.

Rule 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Alinksy, S., Rules for Radicals

Venusian Visitor on February 2, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Though it is illegal to pay out of pocket for medical treatment in Canada, is it illegal in Canada to leave Canada for medical treatment abroad?

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 10:44 AM

No. In fact, our health insurance will cover treatment abroad if it isn’t available in Canada and will save one’s life.

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Actually it doesn’t. No medication (including birth control) is covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). No dental expenses are covered, and OHIP will only pay for an eye checkup once every two years I think. (my glasses and contact lenses are all out of pocket).

But if you need to get a broken arm set or a nasty cough checked out, you’re good!

And please stop dissing Canadians – insult the Newfies if you must since they’re the ones who elected this guy!

CityFish on February 2, 2010 at 10:44 AM

In Ontario, it only pays for eye exams if they are done by an opthamologist, not those done by optometrists. Makes sense, right???? Consequently, the waiting lists for appointments with opthamologists are very long.

This change was part of a series of medical services that were “delisted” some years ago by Ontario’s health insurance plan. So you can now go to a doctor and have physiotherapy prescribed, and the taxes you’ve paid will cover the doctor’s visit but not the treatment he prescribes. Brilliant.

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:50 AM

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.

Eh, I don’t think so…

ninjapirate on February 2, 2010 at 10:50 AM

No. In fact, our health insurance will cover treatment abroad if it isn’t available in Canada and will save one’s life.

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Will it cover the mandatory campaign donation to have Teh One lay hands on you and heal you? /sarc

MeatHeadinCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:51 AM

No. In fact, our health insurance will cover treatment abroad if it isn’t available in Canada and will save one’s life.

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:50 AM

But usually you don’t get to pick the treatment – the medical facility or doctor.

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:51 AM

You’re the one who doesn’t get it. The health care system serves 80% just fine. The average Joe can expect to get the same treatment as the premier got. My father had heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic, which is where this guy probably went, and just as quick. Under Obamacare 75% of that 80% will be receiving the quality of care that is present in Canada. The place the premier didn’t go for his care.
I’m all for taking steps to see that the 20% that isn’t covered has the opportunity to get coverage, but not at the expense of the 80% that has coverage.

DFCtomm on February 2, 2010 at 10:33 AM

I think it’s impossible to cover the other 20% without this coverage coming at the expense of the 80%. In that 20%, there are a bunch of people that simply cannot afford health care. I guarantee you covering those 20% will come at the expense of the 80%. This could come in the form of taxes on the 80% (or a subset of those 80%), it could come in the form of longer wait, etc. It’s not like the 20% isn’t covered simply because there is a switch that hasn’t been turned on.

Also, even in that 80% that you claim is covered, a number of these people don’t realize yet they are about to fall in the 20%. That figure is problematic in my opinion. You might be underinsured but not know it until later…

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:52 AM

The U.S., not Cuba! This man is apparently uniformed.
/sarc

la.rt.wngr on February 2, 2010 at 10:52 AM

JiangxiDad, yes we pay into the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP),although I don’t expect to see much of it. We’re too busy handing out benefits to immigrants with 2 or 3 wives.

Sounder on February 2, 2010 at 10:52 AM

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM

You know so much. Our emergency room at Baptist South in Jacksonville, FL does not discuss anything but symptoms and finances are discussed after treatment. Everyone loves their home and obviously you are defending yours but stop pretending that you know anything about ours other then the little sound bites from a power hungry politician.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 10:53 AM

It’s hypocritical only if you prefer form over substance. Florida is a terrific place to go on vacation, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only place you should go to.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Surely, the whole Florida vacation analogy has been proven to be a very bad one. Continuing to use it to further your argument is absurd. Is there such a thing as a False Analogy troll?

ROCnPhilly on February 2, 2010 at 10:53 AM

I live in Canada and I need a ultrasound examination. I booked the exam one week ago and I can’t get it done until April 9th. And for that privilege, I pay 50% of my salary in income & sales taxes. I pay for vision care, drugs and dental care insurance on top of that. That’s how it is.

Sounder on February 2, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Been there, sounder. After the ultrasound, my doctor wanted to refer me to an orthopedist – 12-18 months wait.

I figure I pay about 55-60% of my income in taxes.

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:54 AM

The U.S., not Cuba! This man is apparently uniformed.
/sarc

la.rt.wngr on February 2, 2010 at 10:52 AM

He must watch FOX and believe all of the misinformation. /s

MeatHeadinCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Will it cover the mandatory campaign donation to have Teh One lay hands on you and heal you? /sarc

MeatHeadinCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Hmmm, I’ll have to check. O/T, but related, one of our local politicians went to the US to campaign for Obama last year. Maybe that’s the trade off?

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Oh fer cryin’ out loud. YES it is true. Try this.

Note that this excludes the many things that are not covered by the government systems (in Ontario that includes eye exams by optometrists, dental care, physiotherapy, and prescription medications).

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Did you use a source from 2001, which predates the Supreme Court decision stating that it is unconstitutional?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:55 AM

my apologies to any canadians, miao- i’ll wear cone of shame x 1 hr.

ted c on February 2, 2010 at 10:48 AM

LOL! Apology accepted.

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:56 AM

So if the governor of Florida says that his state is the best for vacations forces citizens to vacation in his state yet choses to go to Tahiti for his vacation, he is being hypocritical?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Reality makes it sound a bit different eh coward?

JusDreamin on February 2, 2010 at 10:56 AM

O/T, but related, one of our local politicians went to the US to campaign for Obama last year. Maybe that’s the trade off?

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:55 AM

I’m sure that just sent a collective tingle up the legs of all of the supporters of the UN.

MeatHeadinCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:57 AM

I just tried to get in to see the Nurse Practioner at the Couty Health an wellness clinic. They charge you depending on what you can afford. Besides, it’s just down the street. They have a part-timer right now, about to go full. They can’t see me until the 18th. That is what Obamacare will be like. I hope these pains are just trapped gas. If they aren’t gone by tomorrow, I’ll go see the doctor and pay the $85 visit fee. At least he’ll work with me.

kingsjester on February 2, 2010 at 10:57 AM

You know so much. Our emergency room at Baptist South in Jacksonville, FL does not discuss anything but symptoms and finances are discussed after treatment. Everyone loves their home and obviously you are defending yours but stop pretending that you know anything about ours other then the little sound bites from a power hungry politician.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Is the Premier going into the emergency room?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Also, even in that 80% that you claim is covered, a number of these people don’t realize yet they are about to fall in the 20%. That figure is problematic in my opinion. You might be underinsured but not know it until later…

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:52 AM

I agree that to cover that 20% will require a sacrifice by the majority, however that can take many different forms. We can deregulate the system, increase insurance competition, and impose tort reform. This will have an effect of slightly increasing accidents during care, and limit the remedies that can be sought, but won’t effect the care in general. What has been proposed to date has a direct effect on care.

DFCtomm on February 2, 2010 at 10:58 AM

No. In fact, our health insurance will cover treatment abroad if it isn’t available in Canada and will save one’s life.

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:50 AM

so you’re implying that heart surgery is not available in Canada then? eh?

max1 on February 2, 2010 at 10:58 AM

I apologize for the mispellings. I’m off my game today.

kingsjester on February 2, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Reality makes it sound a bit different eh coward?

JusDreamin on February 2, 2010 at 10:56 AM

The Premier never forced anyone to use the health care in his province? Everybody in Canada is free to go to the US or another province to get treatment.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:58 AM

I figure I pay about 55-60% of my income in taxes. ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 10:54 AM

In most other Provinces, I believe my total taxes would be about 60% of income.

Sounder on February 2, 2010 at 10:59 AM

So it’s settled. Americans don’t want Canadian-style health care, and Canadians don’t want US-style health care.

That settled, let’s concentrate on the men’s hockey tournament at the Olympics.

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Everybody in Canada is free to go to the US or another province to get treatment.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:58 AM

And thus Canadians are allowed to continue propping up a clearly failing system. /s

MeatHeadinCA on February 2, 2010 at 11:00 AM

That settled, let’s concentrate on the men’s hockey tournament at the Olympics.

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Go Kenya!

JiangxiDad on February 2, 2010 at 11:01 AM

I agree that to cover that 20% will require a sacrifice by the majority, however that can take many different forms. We can deregulate the system, increase insurance competition, and impose tort reform. This will have an effect of slightly increasing accidents during care, and limit the remedies that can be sought, but won’t effect the care in general. What has been proposed to date has a direct effect on care.

DFCtomm on February 2, 2010 at 10:58 AM

None of those things really deal with the problem. The reality is that the people that fall of the edges are likely the most expensive ones, and no amount of deregulation or competition will help with those.

Just think about it. Someone that has had 2 cardiac arrests walks in your insurance company to get health insurance. How much would you charge that person? Think about the risk of covering him? You would likely charge a price that the person couldn’t afford.

The only real solution is to spread the risk/cost on everyone, and for this, you have to mandate coverage, or at least to enable everyone to get coverage at a reasonable price. Mandating coverage is government intervention, and so is enforcing a reasonable price.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 11:02 AM

so you’re implying that heart surgery is not available in Canada then? eh?

max1 on February 2, 2010 at 10:58 AM

It may not be available for months, or it may be that less invasive or newer treatment options aren’t economically feasible in Newfoundland or Canada-wide.

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 11:02 AM

No. In fact, our health insurance will cover treatment abroad if it isn’t available in Canada and will save one’s life.

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:50 AM

so you’re implying that heart surgery is not available in Canada then? eh?

max1 on February 2, 2010 at 10:58 AM

What will your system do if it isn’t available abroad?

JiangxiDad on February 2, 2010 at 11:02 AM

What will your system do if it isn’t available abroad?

JiangxiDad on February 2, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Maybe send the patient home with some of your prez’s blue pills?

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Did you use a source from 2001, which predates the Supreme Court decision stating that it is unconstitutional?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:55 AM

The Supreme Court did not rule that Canada Health Act unconstitutional, but it ruled that Quebec’s prohibition against private health insurance is. The ruling did affect provincial laws prohibiting extra billing, for example, or private clinics.

See this reference.

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Is the Premier going into the emergency room?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Obviously not but you were the one who through out people going bankrupt for getting care or dying for not getting care. I love my insurance and I pay a pretty penny for it. Butt out.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Maybe send the patient home with some of your prez’s blue pills?

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 11:04 AM

And thus, we have reached the end of the discussion :)

JiangxiDad on February 2, 2010 at 11:05 AM

It may not be available for months, or it may be that less invasive or newer treatment options aren’t economically feasible in Newfoundland or Canada-wide.

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 11:02 AM

well alright then, i say keep ‘em comin! But go ahead and charge ‘em a arm and a leg! (unintended pun)
that might be one way to pump some money into our health care system.

max1 on February 2, 2010 at 11:06 AM

It seems Canadians have a lot to lose (their lives) if The USA adopts a government run system.

Howcome on February 2, 2010 at 11:06 AM

DFCtomm on February 2, 2010 at 10:47 AM

I hold that the larger the government and/or insurance industry or any bureaucracy, the smaller the people.

I hold that beyond catastrophic insurance, the insurance industry is a racket and the problem, as is the pharmaceutical industry with its media barrage to convince the public to buy and take their drugs. I tend to believe the assessment by the Dean of the Harvard School of Medicine, that side effects and neurological effects of any drug are not being properly addressed.

I remember when most “working class” Americans did not buy health insurance and could afford to go see the doctor when they needed, buy affordable drugs from the pharmacy, and have bones set inexpensively by their family doctor.

Today’s quoted price of $800,000.00 for a bone marrow transplant only costs that because of the insurance industry which “covers” that so that no one else can without belonging to the insurance industry.

It seems simplistic–but only on the surface.

The same argument holds against flood insurance. People and developers who BUILD in flood plains and buy in flood plains, dry river beds below dams, in “leveled” hilly terrain filling creek beds, or on ocean coastlines made insurance comparatively outrageous.

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 11:07 AM

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