Comments and observations on social and political trends and events.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Canada: A Model for Health Care? Or a symptom of something deeper?

Health care is one of the central issues of the current Presidential election in the U.S. When I discuss this with my (mostly liberal) friends here in Massachusetts they inevitably point to Canada as a model of how "it should be done." I've written on this before but will continue to hammer on this issue because it is indeed as important as the Democrats claim, but for different reasons. Below is a quote from the January 2008 issue of Imprimis. The article, titled "Is Canada's Economy a Model for America?" has this interesting story.
Canadian dependence on the United States is particularly true in health care, the most eminent Canadian idea looming in the American context. That is, public health care in Canada depends on private health care in the U.S. A small news story from last month illustrates this:

A Canadian woman has given birth to extremely rare identical quadruplets. The four girls were born at a U.S. hospital because there was no space available at Canadian neonatal intensive care units. Autumn, Brook, Calissa, and Dahlia are in good condition at Benefice Hospital in Great Falls, Montana. Health officials said they checked every other neonatal intensive care unit in Canada, but none had space. The Jepps, a nurse and a respiratory technician were flown 500 kilometers to the Montana hospital, the closest in the U.S., where the quadruplets were born on Sunday.

There you have Canadian health care in a nutshell. After all, you can’t expect a G-7 economy of only 30 million people to be able to offer the same level of neonatal intensive care coverage as a town of 50,000 in remote, rural Montana. And let’s face it, there’s nothing an expectant mom likes more on the day of delivery than 300 miles in a bumpy twin prop over the Rockies. Everyone knows that socialized health care means you wait and wait and wait—six months for an MRI, a year for a hip replacement, and so on. But here is the absolute logical reductio of a government monopoly in health care: the ten month waiting list for the maternity ward.

This lead me to observe that I can't recall a "problem" that the Left adopts as a rallying cause, whether it is health care, poverty, unemployment, etc., where they have said, "We've fixed it! We're done! Let's move on." You would think that after pouring trillions of dollars into "fixing" these problems and seeing marginal - if any improvement - that you would either reconsider your approach or reevaulate your analysis of the causes. Makes me wonder. How about you?

No comments: