Feature

Canada: An unfair portrait of health care

U.S. Republicans are using Canadian health care as a straw man.

Jonathan KayNational Post

U.S. Republicans are using Canadian health care as a straw man, said Jonathan Kay in the National Post. A new political ad produced for a conservative advocacy group stars a Canadian patient who got neurological treatment in the U.S. for a condition that, she claims, would have left her blind or dead had she waited for treatment here in Canada. The implication is that Obamacare would be deadly, just like Canadian care. The ad is nonsense; the woman merely had a benign cyst. It’s true, of course, that our health system is “sluggish and riddled with delays” when it comes to elective surgery. The U.S. system, by contrast, “gives gold-plated service in the elective domain”—but only for “the wealthy and well-insured.” It’s also true that at its best, U.S. medical care is spectacular. But “it is a scandal that this extraordinarily rich country contains almost 50 million people who lack any form of health insurance.” Our waiting lists may be long, but at least you are guaranteed eventual care. Americans are reduced to putting up sad coffee cans in gas stations and restaurants, begging for donations for a family member’s surgery or cancer treatment. Instead of making up stories about Canada, “Americans should focus on curing this ongoing moral disgrace.”

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