Diary

Where are Canadians going to have to drive once America gets government health care?

www.thepoliticalclass.com

Where are Canadians going to have to drive once America gets government health care?

That’s an interesting question. Actually it’s a Canadian joke according to Mark Steyn. He was interviewed recently by Hugh Hewitt regarding the health care systems in Canada, Great Britain and America. Full story here.

…that’s the old joke about the Barack Obama reforms. Where are Canadians going to have to drive to once America gets government health care?

Unfortunately it is reality and not a joke. Mark Steyn gives a couple of examples:

Hugh Hewitt: wanted to ask you about health care today, because it occurred to me there are probably only a few dozen journalists who have lived under Canadian health care, British health care and American health care. You’re one of them, and you’re probably the only one who’s funny.

Mark Steyn: Well, Canadian health care is basically, that’s one of the few countries in the world where private health care is actually illegal. There is a private health care system in Canada. It’s called America.

HH: (laughing)

MS: If you get sick and you want urgent treatment, head south. If you head south from Montreal on what turns into I-87, just south of the border they’ve got a big, new hospital on the New York side pointing north toward Montreal, with a sign on it saying Canadian checks accepted. That’s for patients who can’t get treated under their own health system. For the amount of money they pay in taxes, you should be entitled to three or four terminal illnesses a year. But in fact, when you actually do have a serious illness, you wait and you wait and you wait and you wait, and eventually, the province of Quebec ships you down to Fletcher Allen in Vermont, or Dartmouth Hitchcock in New Hampshire to be treated in a foreign hospital.

So basically Canadian citizens pay a boatload in taxes for government run healthcare. But the Canadian government ends up shipping people to the United States to have them treated. That is of course if the patient hasn’t already driven down to the U.S. for treatment.

Steyn goes on to talk about the British system as well:

Well, I think Britain does have a functioning private system, but unfortunately, its public hospitals, I think, would strike most Americans as being like 19th Century workhouses. They’re like Lionel Bart’s Oliver! They’re something you expect to see Dickensian urchins being given bowls of slop and gruel in. If you look at the way what happens when the government runs a health care system, the British government a couple of years ago introduced targets. When you checked into emergency, you were supposed to be treated within, I think it was 45 minutes. Now what happened obviously once you institute a policy like that is the bureaucrats figure out a way around it. What they did was they had the ambulances idling in the parking lot for hours.

HH: Oh dear.

MS: …and not delivering the patient until they got him, until you were near the 45 minute mark. So in other words, so not only couldn’t you get treated for emergency health care, you couldn’t get an ambulance

I don’t think anyone is too surprised to hear a story like that one. My guess is that U.S. Post Office would probably come up with the same solution.

Steyn then speaks to his idea as to why Democrats want a government run system so much in the United States.

Well, what is does is, if you’re a Democrat, what it does is it changes the relationship between the citizen and the state. It alters the equation. If you provide government health care, then suddenly all the elections, they’re not thought about war and foreign policy, or even big economic questions. They’re suddenly fought about government services, and the level of government services, and that’s all they’re about, because once you get government health care, the citizens’ dependency on government as provider is so fundamentally changed that in effect, every election is fought on left wing terms. And for the Democratic Party, that is a huge, transformative advantage.

I agree with his assessment as Medicare and Medicaid have already created similar situations for Republicans. How else did we up with Republicans pushing the prescription drug plan. Maybe it’s time to looking into building private hospitals in Mexico?