Don Surber thinks so, and it’s hard to argue his point when you see stories like this:

Sorry about the wait for that angioplasty...

Sorry about the wait for that angioplasty...


More than 400 Canadians in the full throes of a heart attack or other cardiac emergency have been sent to the United States because no hospital can provide the lifesaving care they require here.

Most of the heart patients who have been sent south since 2003 typically show up in Ontario hospitals, where they are given clot-busting drugs. If those drugs fail to open their clogged arteries, the scramble to locate angioplasty in the United States begins…

…While other provinces have sent patients out of country – British Columbia has sent 75 pregnant women or their babies to Washington State since February, 2007 – nowhere is the problem as acute as in Ontario.

At least 188 neurosurgery patients and 421 emergency cardiac patients have been sent to the United States from Ontario since the 2003-2004 fiscal year to Feb. 21 this year. Add to that 25 women with high-risk pregnancies sent south of the border in 2007.

Although Queen’s Park says it is ensuring patients receive emergency care when they need it, Progressive Conservative health critic Elizabeth Witmer says it reflects poor planning.

That is particularly the case with neurosurgery, she said, noting that four reports since 2003 have predicted a looming shortage.

“This province and the number of people going outside for care – it’s increasing in every area,” Ms. Witmer said.

“I definitely believe that it is very bad planning. …We’re simply unable to meet the demand, but we don’t even know what the demand is.”

Read that last line again: “We’re simply unable to meet the demand, but we don’t even know what the demand is.”

Well, that’s a confidence builder.

The Canadian system is supposedly one of the main models upon which the coming American health care revolution will be based. And yet this wondrous Canadian system seems to be more and more incapable of providing relatively common medical procedures to Canadian citizens, even in Canada’s most populous province. Because the system is controlled by a bureaucracy, it doesn’t respond to market pressures (goodness knows that most of the time, bureaucracies barely respond to political pressure) and in fact can’t even figure out what the market is demanding. All of this results in the Canadian government relying on the supposedly inferior US system to provide lifesaving care in many instances. No wonder 3 out of 4 Canadians live within easy driving distance of the US border.

So what happens if we decide to go down the path toward single-payer health care in the US? You’d have to be a fool to think that we could try the same thing that the Europeans and Canadians have done and get different results. No, in the long run, we’ll experience the same sorts of inefficiencies, quality and supply problems that plague the government systems, and yes, more Canadians will die, because the safety net that currently exists for the Canadian system here in the United States will be gone.

More: Check out the video after the jump…


  • Marc Vander Maas

    Canada couldn’t even get bacon right.

    Take that back. That’s just the sort of ill-considered statement that could get a commenter banned around here.

  • Dan

    A few points:

    1) So is this a good thing or a bad thing? I guess it all depends on how you feel about Canadians.

    2) Canada couldn’t even get bacon right. Why on earth would we model our health care system after theirs?

  • Dan

    Sorry, eh?

    What I meant to say is that the size of government grows exponentially. Government run health care will invariably create a need for more government regulations of said health care and more government run programs to plug the leaks.

    That will cost more money causing taxes to increase.

    Higher taxes will lead to fewer people being able to manage their own health needs, causing more people to depend on the government provided health care. So demand will go up.

    But because health care is now being regulated by the government, supply will go down since fewer people will be attracted to the high stress jobs if they pay much less.

    Fewer doctors leads to fewer life- and cost-saving innovations by the people who actually know the medicine.

    This would result on out-sourcing patients to facilities that are better equipped to treat them.

    Isn’t that basically what happened in Canada? Or do the democrats think that the problem wasn’t in the theory, but in the execution?

    I guess it’s better to give everyone lower quality care than anybody high quality care.

    It’s a lot like school cafeterias in that regard. Close the campus so *everyone* has to eat the same meals and no one can go to the place down the street for a Kahuna burger.

  • Sue

    I live in a country (Australia) that by USA standards has a semi-socialised system of health/sickness care.

    And from talking to some American friends, I know which country I would prefer to be in if I or any of my family and friends became seriously ill or had an unexpected catastrophic accident.

  • Marc Vander Maas

    I’ve had close family members who have been diagnosed with serious, and in some cases hard to treat illnesses, all of whom received excellent care in the States (and weren’t bankrupted by it, either).

    For example: Back in October of 1997 (or thereabouts – sorry I can’t remember the exact date), my father noticed that he had passed a blood clot in his urine. He walked out of the bathroom, called his doctor, and was in the office that afternoon. The next day, we knew that he had kidney cancer. One week later, he was recovering from a radical nephrectomy. That quick response probably added years to his life.

    After the surgery, Dad went in for scans every few months for a year or two to check for new occurrences of the cancer. We never had a problem scheduling those office visits, and always received the results promptly. And when the cancer did eventually return, Dad was able to undergo the only FDA approved course of treatment for kidney cancer at the U of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor. Mom and I moved out there for a few weeks to stay with Dad while he underwent treatment, and his insurance plan gave us no problems whatsoever. When there were instances where the insurance company balked at paying for particular drugs or treatments, the problem was resolved after a consultation with Dad’s doctor.

    Kidney cancer is a tricky beast, and unfortunately the treatments were not able to stop the disease. But even at that point Dad had the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health, which afforded him another opportunity to beat the disease, which eventually did take his life.

    If we lived a couple hundred miles to the east in Ontario, I highly doubt that our experience would have been anything like the prompt, caring, and highly professional treatment that Dad received in the US.

    I want to make clear that I am not arguing that the American system is perfect. It’s not. There are problems that need to be solved, and there are people who need coverage who don’t have it. And while there are solutions to those problems, they most definitely don’t lie in having the government take over the whole system. The vast majority of US citizens are happy with their health care. It’d be a shame if we threw out the baby with the bathwater.

  • Linda

    Take is from this Canadian – you don’t want socialized healthcare. My husband and I spent 3 hours with our daughter lying on a gurney in the hallway of our hospital’s emergency dept. waiting for the surgeon because they didn’t even have a cubicle to spare. All the personnel were top-notch, but that can’t make up for both a lack of personnel and inadequate facilities. Thousands of families don’t even have access to a family doctor in our small province of PEI, while even those of us ‘lucky’ enough to have one have often end up going to walk-in clinics and waiting hours there since it might take up to a week to get in to see one’s doctor. Waiting your turn in line for health care is deemed by the elites (who nonetheless often manage to queue-jump) and their gullible followers as some sort of Canadian virtue. Sad.

  • Linda

    Coincidentally, Marc, in researching the principle of subsidiarity this afternoon on the Acton site, I printed out the article, “Subsidiarity and Health Care Reform” by Robert J. Mylod. It contains some excellent ideas: http://www.acton.org/publications/randl/rl_article_259.php

  • Cal

    As a Canadian who has lived all over the world, I can assure you that you don’t want your current system either. You need something in between.

    It would take a few laws:

    (1). No insurance firm is permitted to turn anyone away or terminate coverage regardless of medical hx.

    (2). No insurance firm is permitted to charge any client more then another.

    (3). No insurance firm may refuse medically approved treatment.

    (4). All employers must provide x amount of coverage per hr worked by employee.

    (5). All states must provide coverage or balance of coverage to those who can not afford it themselves due to unemployment.

    Keep your free market system — just regulate it.

    Cal

  • Bob

    I am a former Canadian (naturalized American citizen) who has lived in the USA for 16 years. I’ll take the USA system over the CDN system anytime, thanks.

    I have an uncle in the hospital right now waiting for bypass surgery up in good old Canada… waiting, waiting, waiting. Maybe they are hoping for him to kick-off so they don’t have to do the surgery.

    Cal and your provisos are a free market system, how?

  • Cal

    It’s not fully free market system. It’s also not full socialized medicine. It allows the market to still determine cost of services and to allocate funding — it just prevents the market from shirking responsibility of care for the very people which make it function and attempts to stop a corporation from becoming an executioner.

    The ideal would be a fully free market system based on ethics and all the rest that this blog is about but, the system has been allowed to slide so far in the direction of corporate power that there are really only three options.

    (1). People dying from exclusivity and greed.

    (2). People dying from socialism.

    (3). Some means of interim control — at least until some form of counter pressure (Patient union???) to the insurance firm’s power can be created.

    Politically I am a libertarian. I’m also pragmatic enough to recognize that a political philosophy is a long way from a political reality and, once power has accumulated in the hands of a few, it takes time to take it back.

    People dying for the immediate purity of a political philosophy is not a justified means to an end.

  • Bob

    Hummm…

    vouchers come to mind…

    Oh no! We couldn’t possibly use those. After all, some vested interests would be very unhappy with a “visible” free market price for their goods and services. They might actually have to compete on price to get those vouchers.

    That’s the same issue with socialized education which we have had for years — even here in the good old US of A. Another issue… but don’t get me started ;-)

  • JP – Wisconsin/Ontario

    I am a summer resident of Ontario and live in Wisconsin.

    My friend and guide, Jack, is 73 and resides in Sioux Narrows. It took him years to have surgery on his knees. That was 10 years ago. He needs more work on his knees and they are putting him off because he is (too) old. Jack also has a brain aneurysm, and they are treating it with ‘diet’ and it took him 2 months for the ‘scan.’

    His daughter is 49, and needs surgery on her knees. They are putting her off because she is too YOUNG, and they felt that she too would need the surgery repeated 10-20 years from now.

  • Nancy

    Every American should have the opportunity to read this article about the pitfalls and dangers of socialized medicine (single-payer health care)! Canada and Europe are PROOF it doesn’t work!! The U. S. mainstream media and the liberal politicians are LYING BIG TIME about the “benefits” of such a plan. Many people actually BELIEVE it’s “free”, that it’s “better”, etc. In other words, too many Americans are falling for the lies of those who want to FORCE such a plan upon us! They’re also LYING when they say so many thousand (or million) Americans cannot get health care in the U. S. now. Just go into a hospital emergency room in the U. S., and READ THE SIGNS ON THE WALLS. You’ll SEE that no one can be turned away, BY LAW! WHO, in his/her right mind, would actually believe the lies current Presidential Candidates and most liberal politicians in the U. S. are telling re: this VITAL SUBJECT! The same people who would believe “the sky is falling” is my guess! And the U.S. Government could actually RUN such a socialized healthcare plan!? ABSOLUTELY NOT…just look what a mess they’ve made of our country!

  • Lisa

    I spent 7 years living in England and can tell you that if you are an older person in need of medical care, you might as well just die! They are filthy and neglected in the hospitals. It is horrible. People have to wait for a long time to get even routine operations.
    We had a scare with my 5 year old. He was getting bruises all over his body, I told my husband that if it was serious, we would be on the next plane out of there!! Luckily it wasn’t life threatening.
    U.S. health care isn’t perfect but we do not want socialized care, been there, didn’t like it.

  • Allyson

    I live in the United States. Two years ago in October I had severe abd. pain and went to the ED. After they ran some test and determined that it was probably nothing, they sent me home. My bill came up to be in the $4,000’s, not including the individual doctors’ bills. Being that I was still a student, I was not able to pay for the fees, however, after some inquiry into the hospital system, I was told that I can apply for a “charity” program so the hospital can forgive my ED stay. I still have to pay the doctors’ bills but I didn’t have to pay the 4 grand. I guess what I’m saying is that in the US, if you look, you’ll find a way to pay off that medical expense.

  • Gogogypsy

    I have never lived in a socialized medical system as I have lived in the US my entire life. However, I can tell you that some of the atrocities mentioned about socialized medicine happen here as well. You will hear the same “too young” or “too old” for knee/hip replacements…you will not only wait a week, but sometimes over a month to see your doctor…and although you won’t wait for life saving surgeries like heart attacks and strokes, you will be turned away if you don’t have insurance…the emergency departments are required to treat you, as another poster mentioned, but they are only required to treat you with FIRST AID…they are NOT required to treat you if you have cancer, heart attack, etc. if you don’t have insurance…you will be turned away or taken to a “county hospital” where treatment is less expensive, but not free

    let’s try to keep the facts straight here people and leave your politics out of it

  • Marc Vander Maas

    No doubt you’re correct that bad things happen under the US system as well. I’ve never argued otherwise. But one thing I’m sure of is this: the way to fix the problems we have in the US system is NOT to implement a canadian-style universal health care system. Remember: “Free” health care is not free either.

    As for leaving politics out of it: sorry to say, my friend, but health care is a major political issue. Whether I like it or not, we’re debating whether or not to nationalize health care in this country, and I’d rather be a part of that discussion than just keep my politics/ideas to myself.

  • gogogypsy

    i never actually said whether i support socialized/universal health care or not…which illustrates my point exactly:

    in order to make an informed assessment of the health care dilemma, it’s important to get REAL information…notice i didn’t say UNBIASED information…you can present a real position with real information from a completely biased position

    however, when you let your “politics” affect your ability to present real information, the discussion loses it’s purpose entirely because false or unsubstantiated information is presented…undermining the only way democracy can be successful: with an informed public

    what i was urging people to do was to get REAL with their facts..because it’s obvious that some republican posters see nothing but negative things in a socialized system…and some liberal posters see nothing redeemable about the current system in the US…and each is willing to present completely false info that they didn’t even take the time to research whether it was true or not

    the truth is always somewhere in the middle…there are pros and cons with each system…perhaps we could discuss REAL facts regarding those pros and cons rather than using this complex and important subject to further your political agenda…it’s only detrimental to us all

  • Marc Vander Maas

    I’m sorry – what false and unsubstantiated information did I present?

    The information presented here is real – it certainly isn’t a comprehensive review of the pros and cons of socialized medicine vs. the semi-private/semi-public system of health care we have in the US, and it’s not presented as such. I do, however, think that the scenarios outlined in the article and video cited above illuminate some of the basic problems that will occur under a socialized system.

    I make no apologies for having an opinion on the matter, and I make no apologies for making arguments to advance that opinion.

    You keep referring to “politics,” but that’s not the right word. A better one would be “convictions.” I have certain strongly held beliefs about human nature, markets, and the value of human life that all come into play when we’re talking about ideas like socializing health care. As such, I’m going to speak from a certain perspective and try to advance those ideas, with the goal of convincing people that my ideas are better than others. You may or may not disagree with me, but I can only assume that you have your own opinions that you would be willing to defend as well. I hardly think that such an exchange would be detrimental to anything.

  • gogogypsy

    Marc,

    i was responding to your post, but not talking directly about you or your actions here

    my response was meant to be directed outward and my use of “your” and “they” were used as nonpersonal pronouns

    that said, i don’t think you are interpreting my statements as they were meant

    what was meant was very simple: let’s just have a real discussion of the real facts

  • Melinda

    I had to go to the emergency room at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, USA about 3 1/2 years ago. Being a student, they automatically waived my $2000 bill with their charity program for people who do not have health insurance.

  • Marc Vander Maas

    Christopher:

    I’m terribly sorry that your sister does not have good insurance coverage. That’s unfortunate. Keep in mind that no one here is arguing that the American system isn’t flawed.

    What I am arguing is that the way to fix our health care issues in the US is not to copy the Canadian/European style socialized system, which undeniably has major problems of its own. Remember, it was your own supreme court that said “access to a waiting list is not access to health care.”

    I’d encourage you, once you’re done LYAO, to check out the commentaries of Dr. Donald Condit. Here’s one to start with.

  • Christopher Cobb

    I have to wonder if anybobdy who gives bad examples of the one payer system “socialized medical” system has ever really been there. I am a Canadian and my sister is a American by marrage and she has the worst medical coverage I have ever heard of. Theres not a Pre Existing Condition that bars you from medical care here. My parents wont go broke because they get cancer and I have never waited more than 30 min to see my GP “family doctor” My sister is right Americans are brain washed into thinking only good Americans should have coverage and those who dont thats there problem. Keep drinking the koolaid your health insurance industry feeds you and nevermind you keep coming here to buy your pills that are made there LMAO

  • gogogypsy

    thanks for the giggle Marc: “once you’re done LYAO”

    i needed a laugh this morning…thanks

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  • Hiki

    I had a procedure done is a hospital in Canada. This was after I had been sent home from Emergency 3 times in the same week.
    Anyway,the procedure is call a LP. Was supposed to be done to check for an infectious disease.Test needed were not even done.
    I was sent out of the ER 2.5 hours at 6.30am but it would have taken at least to day to determine if I had the deadly strain of the disease.
    Their are many complications to having this procedure most affecting brain function.I was brought up to a hospital within 4 hours after the procedure by neighbors.
    The complication were apparent and would need emergent care.
    What happened instead is I was refused care and my condition was immediately labeled as a psychiatric problem. They had committed fraud in my records and told my family the reason for my non function condition is because I was depressed. My spouse was out of the country at the time and was told nothing. All information and test results were being withheld in order to deceive my family. A person in my condition would be critically ill. I got the IV antibiotic I needed 4 months later in a psychiatric hospital where things were further cover up. Everything was pretty much shut down. When you report this to the College of Physician and Surgeons in Canada you get the brush off.They tell you the standard of care was met. But my opinion is that they what to make it look like people are getting proper and quality care. Who do I have to go to with all of this. Experts in the USA.

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  • John From Maine

    It seems to me that the problems with the Canadien system revolve around there not being enough facilities/personnel to go around and consequently, people are put on waiting lists for care. In America, we already have the facilities/personnel so I can see no reason for anyone to have to wait for health care if we switched to a “single-payer” (govt) provider. What we need to get rid of are insurance companies that are driven exclusively by the profit motive to the point where they insure healthy people but drop sick ones. BTW If you receive good health care from an American health insurance provider, is it a group plan or an individual plan? A group plan like you would get through your employer is in fact a “single payer” plan and you are enjoying a form of “socialized medicine.

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  • Dr D MD minus 3 years

    Why are people shocked that they are turned away from hospitals when they cannot afford the hospital’s service? Medicine/Healthcare is a business!! What other business do you know of that will offer you it’s services free of charge if you can’t afford it? “Oh, you can’t afford a movie ticket? That’s okay, the next 10 people in line will be charged an extra 10% for their tickets to pay for yours. Don’t forget to stop by the concessions…don’t worry others will pay.”
    Along the same lines…the 40-60 mill people that “cannot afford” insurance, BS!! I’ve been in many da ghetto and even though they live in crappy tenements, have food stamps and housing, they still have cars, have TVs,cable, internet, new and name-brand clothes….and many other luxuries that could easily be avoided/sold to pay for some coverage. Yesterdays luxuries are today’s necessities. Don’t worry, I don’t mind my 250k debt and 16 yrs of working my arse off to be your doctor and work for free. I just hope you are behind me in line when I “buy” my movie ticket.

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  • Dave

    Whether it works or not is irrelevant, all that matters is equal access. Right?

  • http://virgil vbrant

    I am appalled at all the whining people calling themselves canadians are making over our healthcare system. My wife had stage1V colon cancer in less than a week she was in the hospital an d had a colectomy.Her doctor was fantastic and for the next year monitored her every 3 months 16 months after surgery her cancer spread to both lobes of her liver,it was basically a death sentence,her surgeon operated removed the tumors and she was given several treatments with a new chemotherapy. FOUTEEN years later she is still her.thanks to the caring doctors she had.Her surgeries and other medical tests,chemo,etc.were all covered by Canada’s Health care system.These surgeries would have never happened in the U.S. We could never afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars our system covered.we owe our doctors nothing but our deepest respect for saving her life.

  • Fink

    I have lived in Canada my entire life and although “social” health care isnt perfect…..i beleive it is far superior to the private system south of the border. The fact is, if you look at life expectancy statisitics……almost every country with this so called “inferior social system” ranks far above americans life expectancy. The United States actually currently ranks 50th in the world for life expectancy!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats pretty sad if you ask me.

  • Just Me

    Wow – about a third of americans are obese, by far the highest rate in the world. Probably not a coincidence that the leading cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease. I don’t think socializing medicine is going to help people loose weight. I live in a relatively poor state – Louisiana – that has made a huge effort to reduce the number of uninsured, although a much higher percentage of my states population is now insured, there has been no effect on life span.

  • Sheri O’Connell

    I have been turned away from some urgent care clinics because I didn’t have the right kind of insurance here in the US. That was so embarrasing since they didn’t even let me apply for services. I wasn’t given another choice of how I wanted to pay them. They just showed me the door and told me to go to the ER instead. It’s sad when it’s a doctor that would have seen me if my insurance hadn’t changed. I just marvel at a world where I wouldn’t have to worry about how much treatment would cost or if I have the right kind of insurance. Big health issues that seemed less severe would be caught earlier. Socialized medicine saves lives.

  • marc

    Except when it kills people by causing long wait times for treatment, etc.

  • August

    I think that people need to take their emotions out of the healthcare debate. Some people are paranoid about the government being in control of healthcare. Whatever, be paranoid, just don’t make people who don’t have healthcare suffer because you’re selfish. If you don’t want universal healthcare, don’t use it. If that many people oppose it nobody will use the public option and it will go away on its own, but don’t kill people who are about to die because they don’t have health insurance. Every time someone dies because stubborn conservatives won’t give them healthcare the blood is on the republicans’ hands.

  • marc

    August:

    Hmm. Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • CarrieT

    I am proud to be a Canadian, however, I am also very ashamed and dissapointed with our health care system. I live in Saskatchewan, where the air is fresh, the water clean, and you can see for miles. But a doctor (nevermind a GOOD one) is very hard to find. My husband is 28, and fairly healthy. Almost a month ago, he woke up with severe chest pains and we took a trip to our local hospital. After spending the day running tests, his blood work showed something was happening to his heart (his Troponin levels were high), but they couldn’t figure it out as his ECG was normal. So he was sent home.
    Later that night he ended up being admitted to another hospital a 100km away and stayed there for the weekend under observation. They couldn’t figure out what was going on once again, so they gave him a perscription for blood thinners, anti-inflamatory pills and a referral to a cardiologist 200km away. The nurses told us it was very important that we be in contact with the cardiologist within the following week as it was pertinent that he see a specialist soon.
    Days rolled by without the cardiologist’s office contacting us, so we called them. We were told we would get a call back in a half an hour, and here we are, almost a month later and have not yet heard from them. Everytime we called we got an answering machine, but no response to our messages.
    In the mean time we contacted the second doctor he seen at the second hospital to ask for another referral to a different cardiologist. They wanted us to come into the office again, even though nothing had changed (they get paid for each patient they see each day). So after some hassle, he received another referral to a second cardiologist. To clarify, by this time we were waiting to hear from two different cardiologists.
    Today we finally received word from one of them (the second one that was contacted two weeks later than the first). The heart ultrasound he was to have done three weeks ago, cannot be done until the spring/summer of 2010. The first consultation appointment cannot be done until March. That’s six months. Six months of not knowing, waiting, wondering what is happening and how bad the next attack will be. Not to mention running out of a prescription we’re not even sure he should be one.
    That’s our health care system. That’s what our absurd amount of taxes pay for. That’s what we’re stuck with. And if you think that’s bad, you should hear some of the horror stories from our firend’s diagnosed with cancer…

  • Marc Vander Maas

    Carrie – wow. Thanks for sharing your story; I can only imagine how stressful this has been for your family over the last month. I’ll be saying a prayer for you and your husband, and I’ll continue hoping that the United States doesn’t choose to follow Canada down the path of socialized medicine.

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  • Craig

    One thing is obvious to me. Government does not solve problems. Government is not able to create anything but regulations, laws and more laws. They do not provide solutions to situations and problems. Laws and regulations only cause road blocks and walls to go around. If you want a better health care system, give the power back to the people and take down the walls that prevent the more that 1300 insurance companies from doing what they know how to do and that is insure people. Remove the state line barriers and truly open up competition, among other things. Bad insurance co. will fade away and new and better will spring up.

  • Marc Vander Maas

    Oh Craig, you’re so trusting. Fortunately we have this helpful NPR animation to explain, in part, that the problems we experience today have nothing to do with overregulation, but with the lack of “competition” from a government plan for evil private insurers, who are the real source of all our health care woes.

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  • Chris

    Unfortunately, most Americans have no clue what the health service is like in the UK or Canada. Seems to me that having to wait a little while to see a doctor for a nonurgent matter is acceptable, especially when urgent life-threatening events are treated immediately. In the US if you have no insurance your wait is……forever to get medical care!! I guess that’s okay if you’re among the lucky ones who have insurance!

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  • Nick Butler

    Marc,

    Your post is old but I found this through google. Going to your quote: “If we lived a couple hundred miles to the east in Ontario, I highly doubt that our experience would have been anything like the prompt, caring, and highly professional treatment that Dad received in the US.”

    Well, I’ll have to beg to differ.

    In 2002 a very good friend of mine’s mother in Oakville, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto) was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Intervention was swift, she was into surgery quickly, onto chemo, all that normal intervention. The cancer was aggressive, but so was the treatment. In 2005 things began to look bleak, but again, specialists at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto got involved quickly, and eventually got Mo onto a clinical trial for Avastin which showed dramatic results (it’s been called the penecillin of our generation for its tremendous efficacy against cancer.) The trials showed promise though she didn’t last the whole time due to some test irregularities that made her ineligible.

    Remission, relapse – the cycle went on, and while a few times things looked grim, her care was incredible in her view.

    In October 2009 she was at her daughter’s wedding looking quite healthy. She continues to be in excellent health. She’s still financially secure as costs haven’t ruined her, and I think you’d find she’s a pretty staunch advocate for our health care system. It’s not perfect – but many of challenges I’ve seen Canadians refer to are related to the reality of living in a sparsely populated country more than anything else. With the infrastructure already in place in the US a single payer system would work exceptionally well – though I also think just some good effective regulation could even make a non-single payer system work too. The US has a golden opportunity with its reform process to look at various countries’ models and experiences to build its own system which would be a marvel, after all.

  • WhiteSnow

    FIrst, I love those people in Canada. I’ve never been there & I’m 62 yrs. old, but I know they are good people (can’t say the same about their politicians-same in America).

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