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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Wouldn’t it just be cheaper, nationally, to let people deduct in full their annual insurance premiums from their income taxes? How about also allowing something like the Earned Income Credit, so people can get a further reimbursement for premiums?

It’s insane to spend trillions when the same result can be won for far less, and worse to lock the entire population into something that’s detrimental to them as a whole.

Liam on February 2, 2010 at 11:10 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

You love your insurance?

Wow, I would think you would love your doctor or your nurses. But loving the insurer? That’s nice!

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 11:12 AM

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

Yup…just like our cowardly Congress who refuse to put themselves and their families on their wonderful ObamaScare plan.

ladyingray on February 2, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Wouldn’t it just be cheaper, nationally, to let people deduct in full their annual insurance premiums from their income taxes? How about also allowing something like the Earned Income Credit, so people can get a further reimbursement for premiums?

It’s insane to spend trillions when the same result can be won for far less, and worse to lock the entire population into something that’s detrimental to them as a whole.

Liam on February 2, 2010 at 11:10 AM

It would be cheaper, but the result wouldn’t be the same: individuals would still have freedom.

DarkCurrent on February 2, 2010 at 11:14 AM

You drive to AZ, and you take the “Dental bus.” :)

So, globalization comes to medical care.

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 9:37 AM

You have to be kidding me! I have been on to Mexico on a mission trip, where we held dental clinics. For 98% of the people who came to the clinic, they had never been to a dentist before. Of those that have, their work was horrid.

I’d pay out of pocket in the US before I’d hop on a “dental bus” and go to Mexico.

ladyingray on February 2, 2010 at 11:16 AM

One must also note that Premier Williams is Conservative and the liberal media complex does not stop at the border. They including CBC would not do anything to help a Conservative and push the liberal view, They never put a Conservative as with a Republican in the best light regardless of the facts.

tjexcite on February 2, 2010 at 11:17 AM

suzeecue on February 2, 2010 at 10:50 AM

If Canada had the “benefit” of Pelosi writing its health care rules, seeking medical treatment outside of the national border would be punishable by a mandatory prison sentence during which time the “criminal’s” personal property would be confiscated by the IRS, spreading the wealth supposedly to benefit the most people, but only benefiting the statist authoritarian neo-aristocrats.

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 11:17 AM

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 11:12 AM

I have never had a doctor. Never been ill until recently. I have had my choice of doctors and I have no desire for them to be a big part of my life but I love that my insurance company has allowed me to know them hopefully for a brief period of my life. I just want to be well, not have extra people at Thanksgiving.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 11:18 AM

ladyingray on February 2, 2010 at 11:16 AM

She keeps fabricating happily ever after socialist dreams.

You’re right. The poverty population level in Mexico is horrible. And the only reasonable dental treatments that a few of them ever experience is pro bono. Their government’s disdain for their own people is disgusting. And Obama is driving us closer to the Chavez model, worse yet.

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 11:22 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

When are you having your tea party?

kingsjester on February 2, 2010 at 10:57 AM

:( Be careful. If it gets worse, don’t wait.

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

There is no doubt that the system is not what it should be. I’ve grown very suspicious of anything involving the pharmaceutical companies, but the last thing I want to see is the governtment take over nail salons, much less our healthcare. I don’t know what the answers are, but government sure isn’t it.

pannw on February 2, 2010 at 11:22 AM

And news of this, shocks no one. Exactly why our politicians will force this down our throats, but God forbid they have to live under the same rules they impose on the rest of us.

capejasmine on February 2, 2010 at 11:23 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

The premier is fortunate to be able to afford to pay for his health insurance policy (through taxes) and to be able to go outside the country when he needs/wants to because the policy he foists on everyone in Newfoundland is inadequate.

There are two point here that you don’t want to seem to acknowledge.

First, the Canadian health care system is extremely costly and yet it is very inadequate. From millions who don’t have family doctors (yet are paying for them through their taxes), to hundreds or thousands who spend some or all of their hospitilization is a corner of an emergency room or a corridor, to the thousands whose lives are at best on hold and at times ruined or lost while they languish on waiting lists for everything from joint replacements to abdominal and cardiac surgery.

Your response to this seems to be that better a crappy system for everyone than one that provides better service if you can afford it, and that is the best in the world in terms of survival rates for cancer. Like Obama who wanted to raise capital gains taxes even though it would result in less revenue because it met some distorted sense of ‘fairness’, you want to drag everyone down to the lowest common denominator.

Second, any system that makes everyone pay for a service and then cannot provide it has a problem. This is the state of health care in Canada today, it has been for years, and it is getting worse not better. For years, the answer to this problem in Canada has been to take your money anyway through taxation and then, if you can still afford to get care by paying more, make it as costly as possible by forcing you out of the country to do it. That’s a double-whammy that makes accessing health care even more costly for people, not less.

Your answer to this seems to be so what, the rich will always get the best treatment. But the system we have, by its very structure, actually ensures that you have to be even more rich to be able to escape its inadequacy, first by taxing you into poverty to pay for itself and then by forcing you to go even farther for the care you need but that it can’t deliver.

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 11:23 AM

He may be going to the US for surgery because they can’t do it in Newfoundland not to jump the line.

tjexcite on February 2, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Oh, so…there is no hospital in all of Canada that can do this surgery?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

ladyingray on February 2, 2010 at 11:23 AM

It’s important to remember we are talking about money, really, not treatment. About the US going bankrupt, or about individuals and families going bankrupt.

Poor people here in California get treated, I know plenty of them. They have to work harder to get it, to arrange payment, and the circumstances are less pleasant than for the average person with insurance.

For individuals, bankruptcy is actually a safety net. For the country, bankruptcy is catastrophic. We need to reduce entitlements, not create more.

jodetoad on February 2, 2010 at 11:26 AM

It seems Canadians we all have a lot to lose if the USA adopts a government run system.

Howcome on February 2, 2010 at 11:06 AM

ok

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 11:26 AM

What’s the problem.

He’s a member of the aristocracy isn’t he?

Certainly, he deserves a better life than us serfs.

notagool on February 2, 2010 at 11:27 AM

DarkCurrent on February 2, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Nice! :)

ladyingray on February 2, 2010 at 11:28 AM

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 11:23 AM

ProfessorMiao,

People in Canada pay less per capita than people in the US. If Canadians started to invest the same amount of money in their system as people in the US, I’m sure the result would be way better.

Also, I am not defending the Canadian system as perfect, and I am not saying that it is crappy like you are describing it.

I’m just saying that a system that by design completely excludes many people is broken, and that is the system in the US.

As for the point that in Canada, people pay for a service they can’t provide, it is partialy false. It’s like Yogi Berra saying that “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded” People get service in Canada, it’s just that they have to wait. But like I said, Canada does not spend enough per capita on the system when you compare it to the States so it’s unclear what you would expect from the amount of money spent.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 11:34 AM

I don’t know what the answers are, but government sure isn’t it.

pannw on February 2, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Yes, any organization big enough to give you everything has the power to squish you dead.

Combining the worst three offenders (statism, insurance for “health”, pharmaceuticals) is the worst imaginable horror to stop before the amalgamation of abusive corruption.

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 11:34 AM

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 11:34 AM

How’s the photography going. I am going to get a single of the book cover. Love the whole book.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 11:37 AM

that’s just my 2 cents.

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 10:26 AM
————–
Inflation is really high these days.

fossten on February 2, 2010 at 11:38 AM

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 11:34 AM
———–
How long are the waiting lines per capita in Canada vs. the US?

fossten on February 2, 2010 at 11:39 AM

tjexcite on February 2, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Whining Danny is ANYTHING but conservative.

He just happens to lead a party called the Progressive Conservative Party. A provincial party that ran an ABC (Anything But Conservative) campaign in the last federal election. Ensuring that his province has zero representatives in government.

For a US comparison, think Olympia Snowe.

Jim708 on February 2, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Nice! :)

ladyingray on February 2, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Well I feel bad now. Everyone really seems to miss Ann and her contributions to the discussion.

Ann are you there? Princess???

DarkCurrent on February 2, 2010 at 11:41 AM

maverick muse,

Nice correction of my post.

Howcome on February 2, 2010 at 11:41 AM

maverick muse on February 2, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Opps, wrong person, ignore.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 11:46 AM

OK.

You guys buy this?

You are so right. I don’t belong under this small tent, I guess.

I’ll leave this blog to you.

I will always say, btw, you so missed the boat.

There is a HUGE middle group, including me, who are not right-wing or left wing, and we would love to be invited or at least, comfortable.

But if you want only right-wingers?

I don’t pass your purity test.

And I will exit.

AnninCA on January 29, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Comedy gold.

fossten on February 2, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Someone should tell Canadians how horrible their healthcare system is. For some reason, most of them don’t realize it.

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 11:49 AM

It is amusing to hear Americans discuss the Canadian system based on American propaganda both pro and con and mostly wrong.

It isn’t health care any more, it is “us and them”. A political football that was always meant to go nowhere and just waste time and money while the enemy thrives.

BL@KBIRD on February 2, 2010 at 11:51 AM

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 11:49 AM

I’m okay with them liking it if they will let me like mine. Fair is fair.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Unfortunately, she will be back. Like a common garden slug oozing trails of slime as she hijacks thread after thread after thread.

OmahaConservative on February 2, 2010 at 11:53 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 suppose, if Floridians were mandated to vacation only in Florida, it would be hypocritical.

Goody2Shoes on February 2, 2010 at 11:54 AM

This argument is always so annoying to me. Yes, it sucks to go bankrupt. But doesn’t it suck more to die or be always ill?

You have two options: a system in which you won’t go bankrupt because of the cost of your care, but where the best care that could reduce your suffering and save your life is unavailable,

OR

a system in which you might go bankrupt, yes, but at least you’ll be alive and healthy enough to start over financially.

WHY does it seem people would prefer financial solvency over LIFE???

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Animator Girl on February 2, 2010 at 11:54 AM

* Money: you can’t take it with you when you die!

Animator Girl on February 2, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Animator Girl on February 2, 2010 at 11:54 AM
————
Good point.

fossten on February 2, 2010 at 11:56 AM

It hard to label a provincial Premier as a hypocrite for going to the US for medical treatment, especially Danny Williams, for a few reasons.

First, most of the restrictions placed the Canadian Health care system are federal in nature. Premiers can decided what programs their provincial/territorial systems cover but they cannot overcome the many federally mandated shortfalls which include heavy restrictions on any type of private practice and an ever changing funding formula that has drastically reduced the amount of federal support each province was suppose to receive.

Second, since the time when he was the provincial opposition leader he’s donated his entire salary to charity. As Premier he donates his entire salary to a charity he set up to help pay for out of province trips for families with children requiring medical attention not available in the province.

He’s hardly a devoted apostle to the “Canadian Heath Care is Perfect” mindset most liberals up here live with. He’s one of the first to tell you that the medical system in Canada, and Newfoundland in particular, has problems.

There is a reason poll after poll finds him the most liked premier in the country.

Bic667 on February 2, 2010 at 11:58 AM

I’m okay with them liking it if they will let me like mine.

That does seem to be the case.

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Poor Ann, she’s a lonely heart. I don’t want her to go even though I agree with zero of her opinions. And you have to admit she can take a beating.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 11:59 AM

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 11:58 AM

If you read the thread it’s a lot of Canadians disagreeing with each other. It is a great discussion.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Animator Girl on February 2, 2010 at 11:54 AM

So if the system is bankrupt, how do the services get paid for?

gator70 on February 2, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Dearheart, she probably is. But she doesn’t have to hijack Threads to prove it.

kingsjester on February 2, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Someone should tell Canadians how horrible their healthcare system is. For some reason, most of them don’t realize it.

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Trying to figure out if there should be an irony tag on the end Pearson International Airport’s quote…….

I know I learned everything I needed to know about our wonderous system after it took 49 hours to get me in for a cath after my heart attack a couple years ago. In a provincial capital.

Jim708 on February 2, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Deny him access. Lead by example.
Live by the sword, die by the sword.

mechkiller_k on February 2, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Dude…BOOM!

russcote on February 2, 2010 at 12:03 PM

kingsjester on February 2, 2010 at 12:01 PM

She is a talent isn’t she? I wonder if she drives the Left crazy on their sites?

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Also, I am not defending the Canadian system as perfect, and I am not saying that it is crappy like you are describing it.

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 11:34 AM

And the experience with this system, upon which you base your assessment, is what, exactly?

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 12:06 PM

“I mean, after all, when it’s my arse in a sling I’m gonna do the right thing, eh?”

Akzed on February 2, 2010 at 12:08 PM

I’m at a loss as to what kind of heart surgery exists that can’t be possibly performed in at least ONE Canadian hospital. Is Canada really that far behind in the latest medical tech? Danny Williams must be loaded too because a surgery would probably cost well into the six-figure range.

Apologetic California on February 2, 2010 at 12:08 PM

People in Canada pay less per capita than people in the US.

IF that is true (1000 pardons, but I would prefer to see an analysis by an actual economist with no dog in the fight), it really just makes the point in another way. How you arrive at that “per capita” is what makes all the difference.

In Canada, you use government coercion to make all taxpayers purchase government health care, the cost, availability, effectiveness and efficiency of which is controlled by the government (as is your opinion of it, I might add). The result might be (see above) that you pay less as cogs in the giant Canadian wheel, but you certainly pay more that what healthy, wealthy, and, perhaps, unwise, (but free) Americans are still mostly allowed to pay for their health care under the current US system: absolutely nothin’, say it agin’, Good God! Huh!

Knott Buyinit on February 2, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 12:05 PM

There are probably some on those sites just like her and they ignore her. That’s why she comes here. Some of the gang around here say she’s been banned on at least one other site.

kingsjester on February 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Money: you can’t take it with you when you die!
Animator Girl on February 2, 2010 at 11:55 AM

But you can take it with you: across the border to get surgery you need when you need it.

Akzed on February 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 11:23 AM

excellent sir! This article sure exposes the lie that we don’t have great health care in this country. Congress’ exemption from what they are trying to force on us is proof they know they are pushing an inferior concept. At least the Canadian pols are more honest about it.

DanMan on February 2, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Just in case it hasn’t been emphasized before as to why this matters.
IT IS ILLEGAL TO PROVIDE HEALTHCARE IN CANADA

Not even Europe does this. The fact that Canada is the preferred healthcare system of choice to progressives instead of the public-private universal schemes of Europe tells you really that progressives = North Korea.

Apologetic California on February 2, 2010 at 12:14 PM

So if the system is bankrupt, how do the services get paid for?

gator70 on February 2, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Not understanding you. The point is that if you don’t depend on “the system,” then its bankruptcy won’t affect you. If you’re forced to be part of a system and it doesn’t have the money, well, you’re screwed and you don’t get the services that could save your life or remove your pain. If there’s no system, then you might find yourself in crazy debt with medical bills, but you’ll have gotten the care you need and you’ll be ALIVE. So you spend years paying it off…. Sorry, but would you rather be dead?

Animator Girl on February 2, 2010 at 12:14 PM

I mean IT IS ILLEGAL TO PROVIDE PRIVATE HEALTHCARE IN CANADA

Bah

Apologetic California on February 2, 2010 at 12:15 PM

CURSE THE WIND!
I’m amazed by those of you who have the energy and patience to argue with mycowarice. I just don’t have the juice to waste at my age.

mugged on February 2, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Animator Girl on February 2, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Gotcha, I was trying to understand where you were coming from. I agree. I am all about living : )

gator70 on February 2, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Money: you can’t take it with you when you die!
Animator Girl on February 2, 2010 at 11:55 AM

But you can take it with you: across the border to get surgery you need when you need it.

Akzed on February 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Exactly. But why should you have to?

Animator Girl on February 2, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Some of the gang around here say she’s been banned on at least one other site.

kingsjester on February 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM

LGF? Hahahahahaha!!!

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2010 at 12:22 PM

And you have to admit she can take a beating.

Attention seeker. Nothing new. They used to rely on the Vicar or Priest. Now they join the Dem. party and destroy the country with their opinions and votes. Dangerous.

JiangxiDad on February 2, 2010 at 12:22 PM

I’m at a loss as to what kind of heart surgery exists that can’t be possibly performed in at least ONE Canadian hospital. Is Canada really that far behind in the latest medical tech? Danny Williams must be loaded too because a surgery would probably cost well into the six-figure range.

Apologetic California on February 2, 2010 at 12:08 PM

It is not that one Canadian Hospital could take him. It is cheaper all around to have him go 200 Miles south than 3000 miles west. And the Operation would cost the same regardless of where and I have not read other wise the Newfoundland Government is the payer of the operation.

Canada is not far behind just a big country with no one in it.

tjexcite on February 2, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Wait a minute… liberal hypocrisy? Unheard of!

RightWinged on February 2, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Again

He may be going to the US for surgery because they can’t do it in Newfoundland not to jump the line.

tjexcite on February 2, 2010 at 10:18 AM
Oh, so…there is no hospital in all of Canada that can do this surgery?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

ladyingray on February 2, 2010 at 11:23 AM

200 miles south or 3000 miles west which is better

tjexcite on February 2, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Comedy gold.

fossten on February 2, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Simple minds are easily amused.

Dark-Star on February 2, 2010 at 12:33 PM

I know I learned everything I needed to know about our wonderous system after it took 49 hours to get me in for a cath after my heart attack a couple years ago. In a provincial capital.

Of course there are horror stories. But I think (based on polls) that most Canadians would rather make the current system more efficient than to scrap universal coverage.

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 12:37 PM

I consider this simply more evidence that the Democrats haven’t thought through Obamacare. If they force America to go “single pay,” where would they then flee for quality medical service? Even if the voters are nothing but fungible political pawns, psychopaths should at least worry about what will happen if they get cancer themselves.

Blacklake on February 2, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Simple minds are easily amused.

Dark-Star on February 2, 2010 at 12:33 PM

While even simpler minds lack the capacity entirely.

DarkCurrent on February 2, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Newfoundland isn’t all that big. I think it has 600,000 people in total and it looks like its capital city may have only 150,000 people. The hospitals in the area may not be all that good, but it could be a function of size.

Do people in Alaska, Wyoming or the Dakotas go out of state for serious medical treatment if the operation isn’t an emergency?

Jimbo3 on February 2, 2010 at 12:38 PM

You drive to AZ, and you take the “Dental bus.” :)

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 9:37 AM
I have friends and family in Washington State that travel to Mexico for dental work. Lower prices through less operating costs and still the same quality of work. go figure.

Electrongod on February 2, 2010 at 9:45 AM

–Company medical plans are now offering incentives for US people to have some non-emergency procedures done outside of the US (Mexico, Costa Rica and India are the three biggest). I know people who’ve gone to Costa Rica for cosmetic procedures not covered by insurance and were very happy with the costs (roughly half of the US, even with travel and lodging) and the outcome.

Jimbo3 on February 2, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Just in case it hasn’t been emphasized before as to why this matters.

IT IS ILLEGAL TO PROVIDE HEALTHCARE IN CANADA

Not even Europe does this. The fact that Canada is the preferred healthcare system of choice to progressives instead of the public-private universal schemes of Europe tells you really that progressives = North Korea.

Apologetic California on February 2, 2010 at 12:14 PM

–No, it’s not. It’s now legal to have an additonal/supplemental insurance policy in Canada. There was a court decision on this several years ago.

Jimbo3 on February 2, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Dear NonCanadians:
Until you have to wait for 6 to 10 months for an ultrasound, 1 to 3 years for non-urgent surgeries (including joint replacements), and cannot get a primary care physician unless you’re preggers, I’d suggest you shut the H*LL up about the Canadian system.
I am Canadian and if you’re not sick, the system works great. If you need care, not so much….
Thank you.

mjk on February 2, 2010 at 12:53 PM

On a side note, I went to Tahiti/French Polynesia a little over a year ago, and would recommend it in a mili-second over Florida. ;-) I paid many multiples of what a FL trip would have cost, but I had a great experience, and would go there again.

Enough with the interlude – back to the healthcare debate. :-)

Tak_Bulgogi on February 2, 2010 at 12:55 PM

200 miles south or 3000 miles west which is better

tjexcite on February 2, 2010 at 12:24 PM

“Better”? Well it’s Canada of course.

Apologetic California on February 2, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Of course there are horror stories. But I think (based on polls) that most Canadians would rather make the current system more efficient than to scrap universal coverage.

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 12:37 PM

More efficient? What exactly does that mean? People want better service without having to pay more. Of course they do. Especially those who are already paying far less than many others because their taxes are much lower.

But when the government introduces “more efficiencies” what do we get? Cutting costs by closing more beds in hospitals, making wait times for many treatments even longer than they already are. Firing a bunch more nurses so we then, a few years later, have to mount expensive nursing education programs to deal with the “nursing shortage”. Cutting back on cleaning and other nonmedical services in hospitals to “save money” so that infection rates go even higher. “Delisting” things that had previously been covered like physiotherapy – hey, why pay for physiotherapy when if the condition goes untreated for a couple of years we can just add the poor sucker to the endless cue for a much more expensive joint replacement.

I would gladly pay more for efficient health care as long as I wasn’t already paying a small fortune for all our lousy health care.

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 12:58 PM

I’ve not had time to read ALL the responses on this item, but please let me remind all of you posters who have written with reasonable solutions about the “health care crisis”. Remember, THE ISSUE ISN’T ABOUT HEALTH CARE, IT’S ABOUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTROLLING YOUR HEALTH CHOICES.

There. Now I feel better. I’m going back to work.

oldleprechaun on February 2, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Another shining example of the elite demonstrating the character trait of “Do as I say, not as I do”.

And they wonder why they have no creibility……

rukiddingme on February 2, 2010 at 1:14 PM

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Sure we can make it more effiecent. Allow me to keep the 8 or 9 thousand tax dollars that is my annual contribution to healthcare in this country and let me buy my own insurance, in addition to the insurance I have to cover all the things that “universal” health care does not provide. I can then drop the remainder into the economy as I see fit.

Jim708 on February 2, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Dear NonCanadians:
Until you have to wait for 6 to 10 months for an ultrasound, 1 to 3 years for non-urgent surgeries (including joint replacements), and cannot get a primary care physician unless you’re preggers, I’d suggest you shut the H*LL up about the Canadian system.
I am Canadian and if you’re not sick, the system works great. If you need care, not so much….
Thank you.

mjk on February 2, 2010 at 12:53 PM

No Sir…thank you.

russcote on February 2, 2010 at 1:25 PM

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

Sorry for the late response, but I had to do a little work. I can talk informatively about one aspect of the health care business since I worked, in the field, and may again. I use to be field service for medical x-ray equipment manufacturers, but I have moved over to airport security x-ray equipment now. I can tell you that the cost to bring something such as a CT scanner to market is too expensive. The field needs to be reformed, and costs lowered. It might slightly increase risk, but the percentage would be small. I’m sure the whole medical field is the same.

DFCtomm on February 2, 2010 at 1:40 PM

And the experience with this system, upon which you base your assessment, is what, exactly?

ProfessorMiao on February 2, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Hum let’s see… I’ve used both systems in the past?

How about you?

mycowardice on February 2, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Oh, so…there is no hospital in all of Canada that can do this surgery?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

ladyingray on February 2, 2010 at 11:23 AM

There were no beds for a pre-mature baby once.

Chaz706 on February 2, 2010 at 2:21 PM

There were no beds for a pre-mature baby once.

That’s never happened at any American hospital?

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 2:25 PM

That’s never happened at any American hospital?

YYZ on February 2, 2010 at 2:25 PM

I’m sure it has, but what has never happened is the situation where there were no beds in every U.S. hospital in the area.

DFCtomm on February 2, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Danny Williams, Premiere of Newfoundland was also around for the breast cancer bungle in his province, in which hundreds of women’s breast cancer types were misdiagnosed and those women were denied proper treatment because of this.
I have also used both systems, being Canadian but having returned from a 7 year stint in the US just last year. I know that if anyone in our family needed some serious level of care we would head south. It might cost us all we have, but at least we could get top quality care in the US.

It is very common for hospitals to have no available beds. No, not common, du rigour. Emergency rooms are lined with people on stretchers for days, waiting to be admitted. My sister once had her emerg. room TREATMENT take place in the waiting room for all to see.

caygeon on February 2, 2010 at 2:52 PM

He may be going to the US for surgery because they can’t do it in Newfoundland not to jump the line.

tjexcite on February 2, 2010 at 10:18 AM
Oh, so…there is no hospital in all of Canada that can do this surgery?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

ladyingray on February 2, 2010 at 11:23 AM

He could be right. Under Obamacare the intent is that most healthcare specilist will get the training they need at the local community college. These would be the ones that would never complete a four year degree but would become general nurses or the one that cuts your hair.

It takes the brightest of our college students to become a doctor. They are also the ones that have other options for a career; unlike those with healthcare training for whom it probably is their best option. In a situation as we see in countries with nationalized medicine, those bright college studnets will consider those other option over being a doctor, if it even still remains an option. A shortage of doctors will bring within reach the career of being a doctor to those that would never have quailified or even had the option, of being a doctor. If you doubt that, take a close look at the education systems around the country. How may “teachers” are in the classroom with certifcation and competency to be there. Those “doctors” will be the ones supervising, or at least appearing to do so, the health care providers that will be treathing you. They will be the ones that decide if you get a treatment or a bottle of pain pills. If by some chance you get to meet your doctor, he or she will be easy to spot. They will be the one wearing the suit.

Franklyn on February 2, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Read this.

Sounder on February 2, 2010 at 3:17 PM

I mean IT IS ILLEGAL TO PROVIDE PRIVATE HEALTHCARE IN CANADA

Bah

Apologetic California on February 2, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Someone won a case in Quebec, Canada, for the right to use private insurance. Can you imagine someone taking you to court for paying for health insurance out of your own pocket?

Want Your Mind Blown? And They Call ME Evil.

http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/charter-health-care-canada

Dr Evil on February 2, 2010 at 3:37 PM

The case involves two individuals, a patient and a doctor.

Georges Zeliotis is a 70-year old salesman and a resident of the province of Quebec. In recent years, Zeliotis has suffered from several health conditions requiring he undergo medical treatment, including heart surgery and several hip operations. With respect to his hip surgery, Zeliotis was placed on a hospital waiting list in Montreal for nearly a year before he was able to receive his medical treatment. While he was on the waiting list, Zeliotis made enquiries to determine if he could pay to obtain hip surgery through a private health care facility. He also wanted to ascertain whether he could purchase private health care insurance in the event that he should require similar treatment in the future. Obtaining hip surgery by means of a private facility, as well as purchasing private health care insurance, however, were both actions prohibited by Quebec law.

http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/charter-health-care-canada

Dr Evil on February 2, 2010 at 3:39 PM

While he is here maybe the docs can also treat him for Pelosi Do As I Say, Not As I Do Syndrome

Done That on February 2, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Some of the gang around here say she’s been banned on at least one other site.

kingsjester on February 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM

She was banned at No Quarter for spamming threads. They had a nested post architecture similar to HillBuzz. Her non-stop posts totally disrupted all dialog by design. She would blast one thread after another.

That’s where I learned she voted for Obama, defended him and fought against PUMAS and BlueDog Dems who had jumped over to McCain/Palin. Do any of you believe she voted for McCain/Palin as she claims?

She is not a moderate, its an act as many have discovered for themselves. She is a left-wing activist. Without having seen her behavior at other sites I can understand why many here would be fooled.

Here is why the folks at No Quarter banned her and why HA is less likely to do so:

At No Quarter there are many writers contributing all trying to make a name for themselves. As a result they care about the QUALITY of the commentary. The writers complained that they were working hard putting together topical posts and the discussions were always hijacked by AnninCA.

As a result the writers got no feedback on their work.

From their point of view they ought not bother since the thread was trashed regardless. THAT IS WHY THEY BANNED HER. The writers revolted, as did many like myself who saw it as counter-productive to debate someone who lies like a socket-puppet.

Geochelone on February 2, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Geochelone on February 2, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Thanks for the info. Did she use the same name there?

kingsjester on February 2, 2010 at 4:21 PM

kingsjester on February 2, 2010 at 4:21 PM

yes.

Geochelone on February 2, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Geochelone on February 2, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Well. That was not real bright. I can’t say I’m surprised.

kingsjester on February 2, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Do as I say, not as I do………..

Johan Klaus on February 2, 2010 at 4:56 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

I hope those simple souls in Canada who voted this clown into office vote him out. The stench of his hypocrisy is overwhelming.

ROCnPhilly on February 2, 2010 at 9:54 AM

I know in Ontario (and most of the rest of the country) , we goof on and joke about the Newfies a lot. Here is a chance to redeem themselves.

cableguy615 on February 2, 2010 at 5:08 PM

I see AnnninCA is back from her self imposed exile. You planning on reading the stories before throwing a hissy in the future Ann?

Ampersand on February 2, 2010 at 5:24 PM

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