Friday, September 25, 2009

The Cost of Doing "Justice"

The Cost of Doing ?Justice? -
If anyone is having a contest for the silliest argument for ObamaCare, we'd like to nominate yesterday's USA Today op-ed by Patricia Pearson, a Canadian member of the paper's board of contributors. It's titled "The Truth About Canadian Health Care." The subtitle reads: "I've been treated in the American system and have lived with universal care in Canada. Guess which one is freer--and more humane."

If you guessed that this is a brief for Canada's government health-insurance monopoly, you're right! But wait. Here is her U.S. health-care "horror story":
The only time in my life that I have ever had to plead my case for health treatment to a bureaucrat was when I lived in New York City.

I had purchased out-of-country medical coverage from a private insurance company in Toronto, where I normally live, for the time I would be spending in the USA.

As luck would have it, I had an attack of appendicitis while I was alone on the fourth-floor of an apartment building. The issue I had to clear on the phone with the insurance company was whether I was allowed to call an ambulance, given that I was in too much pain to walk. That conversation, in turn, evolved into a debate about whether I was experiencing a pre-existing condition, which was difficult for me to articulate or even ponder. (Projectile vomiting will do that.)...
We once got sick on a trip to Toronto--nothing serious, just an upper respiratory infection. We saw a doctor and paid the bill. When we got home, we submitted a claim to our American insurance company, which paid it. So if you have private American insurance and get sick in Canada, you're covered. If you have OttawaCare and get sick in America, you're on your own. Advantage: America!

Amazingly enough, this isn't even the most ridiculous aspect of Pearson's argument. Read again her appendicitis horror story. Does she have anything bad to say about the hospital where she was treated? No. About the EMTs who got her there? Nope, they seem to have been fine, once she got the OK to summon them. The postoperative care? Not unless USA Today's editors cut them out for length.

No, her only complaint is about her treatment at the hands of her insurance company. That would be the company from which she bought "out-of-country medical coverage." It was, she relates, "a private insurance company in Toronto." Do USA Today's editors know where Toronto is? We'll give them three hints: It starts with C, it ends with A, and there's an ad in the middle.

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