Patterico's Pontifications

8/21/2009

John Stossel on Canadian Health Care

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 11:55 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

— DRJ

46 Responses to “John Stossel on Canadian Health Care”

  1. The guest host for Mark Levin’s radio show interviewed Sally Pipes on health care yesterday. She told a chilling tale of what happened to her own mother under government run health care. When her mom feared she had colon cancer, she went to the doctor who, without testing her, simply told her “No, you don’t”. When Sally told her mom to insist on a colonoscopy, the doctor told her she was too old and there were younger people waiting in line for that particular test. Later, when she was taken to the hospital bleeding, she spent two days waiting in the ER, two more days in transition waiting for a hospital bed and within two weeks, she was dead. But, she did her part to keep health care costs down!

    proof (53df4a)

  2. Another one sided expose of the Canadian system – since each province administers health care, the story takes one example and then applies it to all -ie. the Natasha Richardson story doesn’t attribute any blame to her (she turned down medical attention initially) nor does it point out that the Province of Quebec does not have emergency air transportation while next door in Ontario, there is an excellent service.

    In my experience, wait times are not anywhere near what was described. The dental examples of England and the vet care services in Canada were thrown in to trash government health care – something more worthy of FOX News than ABC.

    Yes the Canadian system is far from perfect and will be stretched to the limit in the coming years. At least no one goes bankrupt or faces insurance company’s who put profit over the individuals health – even pregnancy is determined by some insurance companies as a pre-existing condition – I’d rather take my chances with a govt run system than be at the mercy of insurance companies. Period!

    While the wealthy and privileged stateside have excellent HC, it seems to me its on the backs of the under and uninsured.

    Maybe John Stossel should look at the suffering of US residents before throwing stones at us.

    Jon (d179aa)

  3. I noted that the waiting lists are shortest for the area of Canadian health care that isn’t part of the government system. Woof!

    The snarky Dana (474dfc)

  4. #2:

    While the wealthy and privileged stateside have excellent HC, it seems to me its on the backs of the under and uninsured.

    Uhm, no, it isn’t. In fact, there isn’t any stretch of the imagination where you could make that claim and be plausible.

    – even pregnancy is determined by some insurance companies as a pre-existing condition – I’d rather take my chances with a govt run system than be at the mercy of insurance companies. Period!

    Hmmm, if you aren’t happy with your insurance company, you just find a new one that you like better. If you aren’t happy with your government, you just…well, you are just out of luck.

    -ie. the Natasha Richardson story doesn’t attribute any blame to her (she turned down medical attention initially)

    Nor should it. Sorry, but people with head injuries often don’t have any idea of the extent of the injury. It’s what happened when the injury’s complications manifested that is the subject of scrutiny.

    – since each province administers health care, the story takes one example and then applies it to all…nor does it point out that the Province of Quebec does not have emergency air transportation while next door in Ontario, there is an excellent service.

    Governments don’t do very many things very well, although some are better than others. Since Quebec doesn’t have an emergency air service, I’d be happy to set one up if I can get paid for it.

    Oops!! I can’t, because that would be illegal!

    Yes the Canadian system is far from perfect and will be stretched to the limit in the coming years.

    It already has been, for years. And as far as perfection happening, well, there isn’t any incentive for it to get better.

    At least no one goes bankrupt or faces insurance company’s who put profit over the individuals health –

    I have recently lived through a rather complicated (and hugely expensive) medical regimen because of a relatively rare condition. In order to get it treated effectively, I had to go to a number of different doctors, different hospitals, different diagnostic procedures, and several surgeries. Not only was I not bankrupted, I never really waited more than a couple of days for anything except the final and definitive surgery by a specialist in very high demand throughout the world. However, even that final wait of a few weeks would have been much shorter if, in that specialist’s opinion, he needed to schedule me sooner.

    Maybe John Stossel should look at the suffering of US residents before throwing stones at us.

    Maybe you ought to take a closer look before you begin tossing rocks so they don’t bounce back and conk you in the noggin.

    And am I for health care reform? Absolutely! Let’s start with tort reform, and then unwind some of the regulatory mess of things that the Dems have made of things already.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  5. Oops…forgot this part:

    faces insurance company’s who put profit over the individuals health –

    During the entire time that I was ill, I was actually treated with more concern by the various different insurance companies than just about anyone else. And the insurance companies followed up a whole lot better too.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  6. #3 The snarky Dana:

    I noted that the waiting lists are shortest for the area of Canadian health care that isn’t part of the government system. Woof!

    If I were a vetinary radiologist in Canada, I think I would be supplementing my income by performing the diagnostic procedures and having the (human) patient send the results abroad to have them interpreted (if there isn’t a human treating radiologist nearby). Wonderful what you can do with the internet these days.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  7. Jon wrote:

    In my experience, wait times are not anywhere near what was described. The dental examples of England and the vet care services in Canada were thrown in to trash government health care – something more worthy of FOX News than ABC.

    Well, perhaps actual data would sway you. From the Fraser Institute:

    The Fraser Institute’s fourteenth annual waiting list survey found that Canada-wide waiting times for surgical and other therapeutic treatments changed very little in 2004. Total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and treatment, averaged across all 12 specialties and 10 provinces surveyed, rose from 17.7 weeks in 2003 to 17.9 weeks in 2004. This small nationwide deterioration in access reflects waiting-time increases in 4 provinces, while concealing decreases in waiting time in Alberta, Manitoba Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.

    Among the provinces, Manitoba achieved the shortest total wait in 2004, 14.8 weeks, with Ontario (15.5 weeks) losing the “best access” province status that it had held since 2000, and Alberta (17.8 weeks) next shortest. Saskatchewan exhibited the longest total wait, 33.3 weeks; the next longest waits were found in Prince Edward Island (27.4 weeks) and New Brunswick (20.9 weeks).

    So, Manitoba has the “best access status,” with an average waiting time of longer than an entire season!

    As it happens, I had to see a specialist last week. I called last Monday afternoon for an appointment, asking for an appointment later in the day on Tuesday; I was seen at 4:00 PM (real time, EDT) as requested. Good thing I don’t live on Prince Edward Island, where my appointment would have been scheduled for Thursday, February 28, 2010.

    The informative Dana (474dfc)

  8. The Fraser Institute also had this one, concerning Canadian health care:

    Government policies and drug plans often deprive Canadians of access to new medicines

    Release Date: August 17, 2009
    TORONTO, ON—After enduring lengthy waits for the federal government to approve new prescription drugs, Canadian patients all too often discover that their provincial drug plans will not pay for these new medicines, according to a new, peer-reviewed study from independent research organization the Fraser Institute.

    Canada’s drug approval process involves two separate stages: First, Health Canada must certify a drug is safe and effective for public use, then provincial governments must decide if the drug will be covered by public health plans. This combination of federal and provincial decision-making creates delays or, more often, results in new drugs being unavailable to some patients.

    “It takes more than 14 months, on average, for Health Canada to approve new medicines as safe and effective. And while private insurers will immediately cover those medicines, the provinces can take up to another year to decide if they will pay for the same drugs,” said Brett Skinner, Fraser Institute director of bio-pharma and health policy and author of Access Delayed, Access Denied: Waiting For New Medicines in Canada.

    Emphases mine.

    Canadians with money come to the United States for health care, because they get better care, faster.

    The informative Dana (474dfc)

  9. You racist oppressors with health insurance get your care on the backs of the poor and uninsured. What a perfect example of Leftist “thought”.

    JD (21ab8e)

  10. Jon wrote:

    While the wealthy and privileged stateside have excellent HC, it seems to me its on the backs of the under and uninsured.

    Would that this were true! Alas! it is the reverse: those of us who have private insurance subsidize those who do not. If you look at Chart #5 in this .pdf document, (explained better on my site), you’ll see that hospitals in the United States are underreimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid, and that the hospitals take a substantial loss on government-pay patients. It is only because of the large margins charged to privately insured patients (23.1%) that hospitals in the United States, in the aggregate, manage to eke out a total operating margin of a whopping 3.8%.

    The Dana who has health insurance (474dfc)

  11. C’mon folks, Jon was a drive by troll, supporting his dude in chief and favorite letter in the alphabet. I doubt that he is Canadian, in fact.

    As for veterinarians moonlighting to offset wait periods, I read recently about a vet with an MRI machine who was forbidden from helping with those pesky wait periods for humans. I don’t have the link handy but I will look.

    Government is about rules. Too often, that evolves into “rules for the sake of rules,” and “one size fits all.”. That’s the danger of Big Government getting involved.

    You know the Sufi saying; if you let a camel put its nose into your tent, you soon get the other end, too.

    Eric Blair (c15e00)

  12. This report makes Teh One™ look bad and therefore must not be true.

    steve miller (c5e78c)

  13. Jon’s a fraud – all of the best doctors who graduate from Canadian schools come directly here, because they can’t get paid in their own home countries. Jon’s classic “tell” is where he actually believes that the Richardson story supports his contentions. We had a similar doofus come on here last summer attempting to defend the Canadian system and shortly after was exposed as a poseur.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  14. The supporters of Obamacare are either as consistently poorly informered to debate its merits as Owebama or lie just as blatantly as the socialist in chief to get it passed.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  15. Jon is probably not a troll, but rather one of my true believer socialist Canadian neighbours. I live up here and listen to stupidity like Jon’s all the time.

    I’m healthy but I have spent he last few years watching the system mismanage the care of my dad and my mother in law. When I argue with my fellow Canadians that we need to dump the socialist nonsense we have adopted in medicare and elsewhere I often get otherwise intelligent people talking like Jon.

    As an aside, did you Americans know what happens to medical parts, in this case a hip replacement, when newer and better ones get developed for the USA? They get bought up by Canadian medicare and installed into old ladies. Yuppers, mother in law had a bad hip and now has a second rate hip joint that has to come out soon – by which I mean in about 18 months from now, the faulty part having been noted about a year ago. Cheap-ass socialism has cost her 5 years of pain, and counting.

    And we absolutely do so have death panels, and you’ll have them soon too. My mother has had many ministrokes and requires 24 hour full time care. She is in a nursing home and not quite a vegetable. When some inevitable crisis comes we all know she is not going to get proper treatment. They’re going to kill her with inattention unless I find out in time and can get her to the USA. Here’s how a death panel works. the docs and admins have their regular Monday meeting to organize the week. The old farts on the unwritten death list get put at the end of the written triage list, and nothing ever happens for them. Simple, isn’t it. Like being in a DMV line and never quite getting to the counter by closing time.

    Americans used to be so sophisticated about socialism, now too many of you seem to be as naive as puppies. What happened?

    Fred Z (f7d2b1)

  16. Differences in Provincial Mediacal Systems:
    Quebec (French) has no MediVac helicopters; while,
    Ontario (English) does.
    I guess MediVac doesn’t translate very well.

    Only in Canada could King and Rex receive better Health-Care than Sgt. Preston
    (insert theme from “Overture to Donna Diana” here).

    AD - RtR/OS! (48b300)

  17. I love it when people like Jon drop by to preach from their statist sec-progg hymnal.

    JD (51ec96)

  18. As someone old enough to enjoy the “benefits” of both Social Security and Medicare, I awoke one morning with a discomfort in an area of my upper-jaw where an oral-surgeon had removed some molars several years ago.
    I called my dentist to ask if I could get in (he doesn’t take HMO, and AFAIK, Medicare doesn’t pay for dentistry), and he responded “Can you be in at 1:30?”. I was, and everything turned up negative after an exam and x-rays.
    Must have been just on “old man” pain.
    But, the point of this, is that in less than six-hours, I had a determination of what my problem was.
    Took some Ibuprofen, and the pain was gone – permanently (or, at least until the next “old man” moment – those seem to come more frequently, unfortunately).

    AD - RtR/OS! (48b300)

  19. If you like the DMV, the Post Office, and the IRS, you will absolutely love Obamacare!

    steve miller (c5e78c)

  20. Obama mandates Super Cache for every blog.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  21. How many bankruptcies are there in Canada due to medical bills?

    How many wrongful rescissions?

    How many illegal aliens are flooding Canada?

    Michael Ejercito (833607)

  22. Obama should resign, anyone who would force government control of healthcare on America isn’t fit to lead a dog across the street.

    Ropelight (6f0b7c)

  23. Fred Z:

    Americans used to be so sophisticated about socialism, now too many of you seem to be as naive as puppies. What happened?

    40+ years of William Ayers’ new, improved educational system.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  24. I am not a fan of Supercache, or Jon.

    JD (1e912f)

  25. Supercache sucks more than Jon, but not as much as Barcky.

    JD (360352)

  26. #7 & #2. In 1999, the Fraser Institute was attacked by health professionals and scientists for sponsoring two conferences on the tobacco industry entitled “Junk Science, Junk Policy? Managing Risk and Regulation” and “Should government butt out? The pros and cons of tobacco regulation.” Critics charged the Institute was associating itself with the tobacco industry’s many attempts to discredit authentic scientific work.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  27. DCSCA, Links, please. Who are these “health professionals and scientists” and “critics?” Pardon my skepticism of your unverified word; your record doesn’t merit that level of trust.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  28. I live up here and listen to stupidity like Jon’s all the time.

    And when push comes to shove, I bet a lot of them act and behave like a typical limousine liberal. Or similar to all those teachers throughout urban America who say they love (love!) the idea of public education and public schools—and vote dutifully and loyally for Democrats/liberals year after year. But who when it comes to their own precious children, send them off to schools that are privately owned, privately operated, and where tuition (perhaps considerable, at that) is required.

    Mark (411533)

  29. #27- Ah, the conservative mind set on display. Wants someoneelse to do their work for nothing. Do it yourself.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  30. DCSCA, If I’m a conservative, you’re Werner von Braun.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  31. Comment by DCSCA — 8/22/2009 @ 12:23 pm

    “Supporting my statements with facts is other people’s work!” DCSCA, if you only knew how amusing you are.

    BTW, ready to tell us whose “realm” your “coin of the realm” is yet? Or too embarassed that you accidentally admitted that you see Obama as a king and not a president?

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  32. embarassed = embarrassed

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  33. DCSCA has news clips that don’t exist in his personal collection, but it is too much work to forward them to others to support his fabulist claims.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  34. Comment by DCSCA — 8/22/2009 @ 12:23 pm

    I think you’ve been warned about this, haven’t you?

    If you make a statement, you have to back it up. It isn’t our job to verify what you say.

    DRJ, would you muzzle this idiot please?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  35. Breaking News: Doctor Roxana Mayer criticises Fraser Institute.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  36. Ah, the conservative mind set on display. Wants someoneelse to do their work for nothing. Do it yourself.

    So you are lying again.

    Got it.

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (3b3b67)

  37. “In 1999, the Fraser Institute was attacked by health professionals and scientists for sponsoring two conferences on the tobacco industry entitled “Junk Science, Junk Policy? Managing Risk and Regulation” and “Should government butt out? The pros and cons of tobacco regulation.” Critics charged the Institute was associating itself with the tobacco industry’s many attempts to discredit authentic scientific work.”

    The above was a straight Wiki cut and paste with a [citation needed] notation in the text, strangely omitted here. At least DCSCA could have the testicular fortitude to admit that.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  38. Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 8/22/2009 @ 12:26 pm

    If only he were; for then, we would not be bothered by his inane commentary.

    AD - RtR/OS! (48b300)

  39. If you hate DCSCA, beat him up.

    If you really, really, hate DCSCA, beat him up then send him to Canada for treatment.

    I forgot to mention in my first comment how nice hospital corridors in Canada are. Perfectly comfortable to sit and read to your dad, eat with him, have a snooze, chat with the passers-by, flinch when a bloody or dead one comes by, and so on. What fun. In our case we could only enjoy this for 18 hours but in the better parts of Canada the hospitals are so nice you can do it for days.

    Fred Z (f7d2b1)

  40. “While the wealthy and privileged stateside have excellent HC, it seems to me its on the backs of the under and uninsured.” Comment by Jon

    Jon my neighbor is on Medicaid and in case you don’t know what that is, as you are Canadian, it is government HC for the very poor. She has had numerous operations and procedures and is on 14 or so medications per day. She has spent up to two months at one time in the hospital all free (to her) and paid for by guys like me who pay federal income taxes.

    It may sound like I begrudge her this. I do not. However, this is also partially funded by guys like me who have private health insurance because when I go to the hospital my insurance company pays at a higher rate than does the government for the same procedure. On average about 26% higher from what I have read. Your statement is false and your understanding of the current American HC system is quite poor. Oh and Medicaid, just like the other entitlements that the D’s have foisted on us, is bankrupt.

    Our bettors on the left, including the odious congresswoman Jan Shakowski and various media cretins, love bashing private insurance companies. What they never tell you is that there are over 2000 state and federal mandates that limit or expand what an insurance company can and cannot do or what coverages that they have to provide. One federal regulation actually prevents insurance companies from offering nation wide or portable coverage. My reforms would start with eliminating or easing many of the state and local mandates and allowing a more free market in insurance to develope. But I am afraid that the Jon’s of the US, who as another commenter noted, have been educated by the Bill Ayers’ (Angela Davis’, Lani Guinier’s, Bernadine Dohrn’s, and Noam Chomski’s) of the world are now largely lost to any ability to actually reason. BO’s election is a good example of that in action.

    BT (78b929)

  41. Sorry to her about your mother, Fred. I wonder if you’ve had the chance to see the Quebec film called “The Barbarian Invasions,” released about 5 years ago? I found it a searing indictment of both the Canadian progressive viewpoint and the deplorable state of medical care that exists currently. What made it fascinating is that the filmmaker was an ardent progressive/communist only a decade or so earlier. The scenes of the protaganist being left to rot for days in the hallways will always stay with me – as will the scenes of him getting desperately – needed treatment across the border in Maine.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  42. Jon, a few years ago, a good friend of mine living in Winnipeg tore a knee ligamet. It took over 9 months to get an MRI taken and another 8 months to surgery. From injury to recovery, my friend was on crutches for a year and a half. We were arranging for a surgery in the US at private expense when the surgical date was finally scheduled for the first time. Unfortunately we should have gone forward as the surgery was then repeatedly delayed thereafter.

    Don’t tell me that Canadian waiting periods are myths.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  43. #2 — Comment by Jon — 8/22/2009 @ 4:41 am

    While the wealthy and privileged stateside have excellent HC, it seems to me its on the backs of the under and uninsured.

    That is absolutely backwards Jon. The HC of the under and uninsured are on the backs of the wealthy and privileged — and earners; whether they are the taxpayers (especially the wealthiest) or the fully-insured consumer (via increased premiums).

    Another one sided expose of the Canadian system – since each province administers health care, the story takes one example and then applies it to all -ie. the Natasha Richardson story…nor does it point out that the Province of Quebec does not have emergency air transportation while next door in Ontario, there is an excellent service.

    It seems that this particular example is dead-on accurate, if your assertion is accurate — “that the Province of Quebec does not have emergency air transportation”.

    “that the Province of Quebec does not have emergency air transportation” is disgraceful if true (not to mention scary for Canadian citizens). The entire Province of Quebec cannot justify a budget for a single helicopter and crew? Incompetence and stupidity of a government-run HC system confirmed.

    …doesn’t attribute any blame to her (she turned down medical attention initially)

    Blaming the victim is an interesting defense of Canadian HC. The fact that this type of injury is known to cause death and cautionary measures were not made adequately clear to her versus she had a death wish…hmmm. Incompetence and stupidity of a government-run HC system confirmed – again.

    Well, I guess at the very least, the government will learn from their mistakes, not blame the victim (with a head injury), purchase a helicopter and in general, improve the system with these relatively simple changes – all in short order, right? Riiiiight!

    Pons Asinorum (20c241)

  44. Americans used to be so sophisticated about socialism, now too many of you seem to be as naive as puppies. What happened?

    20+ years of allowing socialists to run our education system without any significant interference.

    Socratease (c086dd)

  45. DCSCA wrote:

    #7 & #2. In 1999, the Fraser Institute was attacked by health professionals and scientists for sponsoring two conferences on the tobacco industry entitled “Junk Science, Junk Policy? Managing Risk and Regulation” and “Should government butt out? The pros and cons of tobacco regulation.” Critics charged the Institute was associating itself with the tobacco industry’s many attempts to discredit authentic scientific work.

    In other words, when one doesn’t have the facts on his side, the proper thing to do is attack the messenger.

    But, perhaps you’d appreciate a source that wasn’t the Fraser Institute, but the Canadian government itself:

    Overall, most individuals reported waiting 3 months or less for specialized services: close to 90% for specialist visit and diagnostic tests and slightly over 80% for non-emergency surgery.

    Less than three months? As an American, with health insurance, I waited a whole day to see a specialist. The same source reported:

    The median waiting times for specialized services was 4.0 weeks for specialist visits, 4.3 weeks for non-emergency surgery, and 3.0 weeks for diagnostic tests.

    Can’t say that I find those figures very impressive, at least not positively impressive; they do make quite a negative impression.

    The Dana who can see through bovine feces (474dfc)

  46. Fact check on Natasha Richardson’s death:
    While the report says there was no trauma center for hundreds of miles, in reality one of the country’s top trauma centers was 73 miles away.
    Doesn’t change the basic point (altho the helicopter issue is less important since an ambulance would have been just as quick))

    cory (411a25)


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