Rudy Giuliani once quipped,¬† ‚Ä?If we ever got Hillarycare in this country, Canadians will have nowhere to go for health care.‚Ä? He was, of course, labeled¬†a knuckle-dragger by the “news” media. Well, according to the Detroit Free Press he was on to something:

Agreements between Detroit hospitals and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for heart, imaging tests, bariatric and other services provide access to some services not immediately available in the province, said ministry spokesman David Jensen.

That’s right. The single-payer system¬†constantly lauded¬†by¬†advocates of government-run health care can’t provide¬†important¬†medical services to its patients. So,¬†how does it solve the¬†problem?¬†It¬†makes a deal¬†with the much-maligned U.S. system¬†to do the job.

Canada’s U.S. backup care ‘speaks volumes to why we don’t need government to take over health care,’ Scott Hagerstrom, the state director in Michigan for Americans for Prosperity, said of the Canadian arrangements with Michigan hospitals. ‘Their system doesn’t work if they have to send us their patients.’

Now, of course, it’s not Hillarycare that we need to worry about. Instead, it’s Obamacare. And, as Ed Morrissey points out, the President promoting this brand of “reform” can’t be trusted. Here’s what he said in 2006 about Bush’s prescription drug benefit for Medicare:

[Bush] allowed drug companies and insurance companies to help write the prescription drug bill. We now have the worst of both worlds. We have the price gouging of the private sector and the bureaucracy of the public sector.

This is the same guy who nows brags about his new “partners” in reform —– the drug and insurance companies. In other words, we are being asked¬†to emulate a health care system that does not work by a president¬†from whom no sane person would buy a used car.


Patrick Appel highlights the comments of a reader upset about his inability to get a cochlear implant because¬†of the evil insurance companies. I’ve got some bad news for this reader: dumping the insurance companies and going to a government-run model won’t solve his problem.¬†¬†

In Great Britain,¬†where evil insurance companies don’t enter into the picture, the hearing impaired routinely wait for¬†years¬†to get¬†help. And, when¬†the NHS¬†apparatchiks¬†finally produce the needful,¬†the technology is¬†usually hopelessly outdated:

Patients across the country are waiting more than two years for a hearing aid, and up to five years to have old-fashioned equipment replaced by modern technology.

God only¬†knows how long they would wait for something like a cochlear implant. Ironically, this same reader complians about being twice turned down for SSI “on the premise that I’m able to work.” This is precisely the kind of bureaucratic BS that I and many other want to keep out of U.S. health care.

Comments 7

  1. Wilson wrote:

    You neglected to mention the other reader comment in Patrick Appel’s post regarding the difficulty of obtaining private insurance if you have diabetes. This is not an isolated reader comment, as I’ve read the same story over and over. (In the state in which I live, insurers can refuse to sell you coverage depending on your health status.)

    I would be interested in your comments on how a market-driven health insurance system addresses the issue of denying insurance due to pre-existing conditions, as well as the high rate of rescission that occurs when insured clients start costing insurance companies money. Perhaps you have previously posted about this, but I searched your site for “pre-existing” and “existing” and didn’t find anything relevant in the last year or so.

    Posted 31 Aug 2009 at 10:19 am
  2. Catron wrote:

    As to pre-existing coverage and the rescission rate, Wilson, surely these situations can be resolved without a $1.6 trillion overhaul of the system.

    Moreover, it’s not like they don’t exist in (non-market) government-run systems. These systems just use different nomenclature. In fact, that’s what the REAL rationing debate is about.

    In the UK, for example, the NHS doesn’t call it “rescission,” but they certainly deny “coverage” for people who start draining too much money out of the government’s coffers.

    Posted 31 Aug 2009 at 3:57 pm
  3. johnson wrote:

    I guess this is another good time to point out that reform proponents don’t want to “emulate” Canada or Britain. The proposals do not feature government-run and managed healthcare. It’s private healthcare, paid for — in some cases only — with government funds.

    Posted 31 Aug 2009 at 5:30 pm
  4. Catron wrote:

    Sorry, Johnson, you’re wrong. As to emulating the British system, that began when the “Federal Coordinating Council for Effectiveness Research” was created by the porkulus bill. It is directly modeled on NICE, an infamous UK bureaucracy.

    And the so-called public plan is nothing more than an expansion of Medicare, a single-payer health system (for seniors) virtually indistinguishable from Canada’s medical delivery system (which is named, not coincidentally, Medicare).

    So, it would be more accurate to say that proponents don’t ADMIT that they want to emulate the Canadian and British systems.

    Posted 31 Aug 2009 at 9:31 pm
  5. Marc Brown wrote:

    I see you’re busy setting up more strawmen.

    There’s no reason why healthcare systems shouldn’t buy services from other providers – the point is that the few Canadians treated in the US have the bills paid for by their government. In Europe, there are many cross-border arrangements. You’d be better to look at why 65% – yes, 65% – of all people in Detroit do not have health insurance and how you’re going to get them treated in the very same hospitals.

    You did not answer the question as to how people will get treated under free market insurance. As the other poster said, you never have (and we know this is because the underlying agenda is about protecting big business – not heath).

    But I suppose it’s worth asking: what would you rather have – a hearing implant after a few months or maybe a year or never?

    As for NICE, do you think that overtreatment and lack of effectiveness is a huge feature of American healthcare and if not why?

    Posted 01 Sep 2009 at 4:09 am
  6. johnson wrote:

    So your point is that the agency that looks at the comparative strengths and weaknesses of various medical interventions (which incidentally, as I think you point out, is not part of any of the reform packages being discussed, since it already exists) is going to make people wait for hearing aids? How? And does U.S. Medicare — which you argue is “virtually indistinguishable” from the Canadian system and thus doomed to share its purported problems — make people wait for heart imaging, etc.?

    I’m really not trying to be a jerk. I’m obviously missing something. But I’m not seeing the connection between your problems with the British healthcare system and your problems with the ideas that are being debated here and now. I know you make a point of not using straw man arguments, so I’m trying to see how knocking the British and Canadian systems is relevant to the US healthcare debate.

    Posted 01 Sep 2009 at 9:40 am
  7. Junk Science Skeptic wrote:

    This is just too funny. One of the Left’s most lauded healthcare systems is forced to rely on one of America’s few third-world cities to deliver a minimum level of care.

    Posted 02 Sep 2009 at 1:49 pm

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  1. From Canada cuts deal with US hospitals to reduce waiting times « Wintery Knight Blog on 01 Sep 2009 at 3:05 am

    [...] cuts deal with US hospitals to reduce waiting times Story from the Detroit Free Press. (H/T Health Care BS via [...]

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