Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why the public option scares people

Clayton Cramer calls attention to this article, and writes:
The Mayo Clinic managed to get her in and identify the cause of the problem in seven days. But even though it was urgent to get the non-malignant growth removed, or she would go blind, that wasn't enough to get the Canadian health care system to step in and do the surgery. She had to go back to the U.S. for the surgery that saved her sight.

What's really tragic is that the Canadian system, until 2005, actually made it illegal for a health care provider to operate outside their single payer system. Not just "the government's health insurance won't pay for it"--but illegal to provide care. The Canadian Supreme Court in 2005 ruled that "Access to a waiting list is not access to health care," and struck down the Quebec health insurance monopoly. That Calgary Herald piece explains that the doctors at the Mayo Clinic that did the surgery that restored Shona Holmes' vision? They were Canadians, too--who had moved to the U.S. to practice medicine.

So if the crowd that wants Canadian style single payer gets its way--either openly or in a roundabout way, as I pointed out last month that Obama seems to be taking us--where will Americans go to get medical care? Of course, when I say, "Americans," I really mean, "rich Americans." Most Americans, if confronted with a serious problem like Shona Holmes, won't have the resources to pay for medical care in another country, or the cost of traveling there. But the people that Obama represents--George Soros, Nancy Pelosi, and the other obscenely rich--they won't have that problem, will they?

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