August 13, 2007
Rosy Picture of
Canadian Health Care Obscures the Truth
“For, as we all
know, our neighbors to the north are facing a terrible crisis. A crisis
of – gasp! – universal health care, which brings with it such horrors as
a longer lifespan than Americans enjoy, and the comfort of knowing that
if you are diagnosed with cancer or need emergency medical attention,
you will not spend the rest of your life wading in debt. No, we must
hold on tight to our American ideals, lest we experience the fate of
Canadians!” (Children’s Health Insurance Bill a Far Cry from Socialist
Medicine by Jessica Vozel, August 6, 2007. A fellow opinion writer with
North Star Writers Group.)
Now Jessica! Since
you are going to be liberal and sound liberal, at least try to avoid
some of the more typically liberal tendencies. Over generalizations,
inconclusiveness, factual omissions and sarcastic sincerity are all the
I will admit that at
times we are all guilty of these opinionated infractions, but I could
not resist this opportunity to highlight some basic differences of
perspective between liberals and conservatives. Although I do not like
either of us being labeled liberal or conservative, respectively, due to
label abuse by the media and politicians, that’s a debate for another
First, we do not all
know that our neighbors to the north are facing a terrible health care
crisis, because too many liberal-minded people continue to try and paint
a rosy picture of the Canadian system. The most prominent example is
lead liberal Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko”, which has been busted for
inaccuracies and misrepresentations by dozens of writers and reputable
The typical response
by Moore and his defenders has been to just ignore the analysis and
critique, such as that by David Gratzer of the National Post dated July
6, 2007. In his article, he refutes Mr. Moore’s claim that emergency
rooms in Canada do not get overcrowded. Specifically, a Canadian
government study determined that only half of ER patients are treated in
a timely manner, and Toronto patients receive care in four hours on
average. Maybe it depends on one’s definition of overcrowded.
Second, there is
absolutely no statistical correlation between average life span and type
of health care system. All reputable economists and medical
professionals will tell you that life span is determined by too many
indeterminable factors. Even though many medical studies have shown that
certain factors impact life span more than others – such as smoking,
eating habits and exercise – the type of government-controlled health
care system has never been identified as a sure bet factor.
Here again, when
good liberals find something that sounds good to the uninformed they
grab it and spread it like wildfire.
In Canada you may
not spend the rest of your life in debt if you are diagnosed with cancer
or need emergency medical care, but you might spend the rest of your
life in the ER or waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
Thirdly, we must
indeed hold onto our American ideals, lest we experience the fate of
Canadians. These ideals include the freedom to choose our own doctors,
the incentives for doctors to choose to become doctors so we will not
experience doctor shortages as in some areas of Canada, and the ideal
that a bureaucrat should not decide which illnesses get treated first,
second or third because of the rationing of medical resources by the
Yes, our health care
system has a “leak in the roof”, but we do not need to blow up the
building to fix it. And although I might concede that the proposed
children’s health insurance bill (SCHIP) is a far cry from socialist
medicine, it is on the same track as Medicare and Medicaid. When they
collide, it will be a disaster.
As long as we have
choices, liberals will tell us that the government can make our choices
for us better than we can for ourselves – for the common good, or the
good of the children.
When we have no
choices left, that’s the ideal disaster for socialist medicine.
© 2007 North Star Writers
Group. May not be republished without permission.
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